“Apple’s stock is soaring and its revenue is booming. The computer maker has a hit product and is getting loads of favorable press. So what’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, if you ask investors who have enjoyed a run-up of 24% in the stock this year after a 200% surge in 2004,” Troy Wolverton writes for TheStreet.com. “But more-skeptical observers might note that Apple’s been here before. And even some of those bullish on Apple’s future admit to some doubts about whether the company can maintain its momentum.”
“‘That’s the million-dollar question,’ said Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research. ‘When you’re dealing with a consumer-focused company like Apple, it’s very difficult to anticipate the consumer wind. Consumer interests sometimes have no rhyme or reason,'” Wolverton writes. “The keys for Apple, analysts say, are to keep up with demand for its hot products and to continue its innovative products. The first requirement is a problem that has frequently plagued the company, said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.”
Wolverton writes, “Right now, of course, everything appears to be clicking with the iPod. In its fiscal first quarter for instance, Apple shipped 4.58 million of the devices, up from just 733,000 a year earlier. Thanks to that kind of growth rate, the company claims that it now has some 65% of the market for digital music players, up from 31% a year ago. Meanwhile, the company has seen a pickup in sales of its bread and butter: the Macintosh computer line. Revenue from Mac sales increased 26% in the recently completed quarter, a rate about double that of the PC industry as a whole. And Apple is clearly not standing still. At the MacWorld conference in San Francisco last month, the company rolled out two new cut-price products: an iPod Shuffle and the Mac mini, a bargain-priced computer.”
“Early indications are that both products, which are targeted at the low end of both markets, will be successes. Not only does Apple have a backlog of orders for the iPod Shuffle and the Mac mini on its Web site, but a recent Wall Street report found that the company’s U.S. stores were all but sold out of both products,” Wolverton writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully for Apple, somewhere right now factories are churning out iPod shuffles and Mac minis by the boatload.