“Apple Computer’s stock gained Monday, getting a lift to a new 52-week high from upbeat comments by a UBS analyst on the computer maker’s new lower priced Mac Mini computer and iPod Shuffle digital music player products. Shares of the Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of sleek tech gear climbed $3.42, or over 4 percent, to close at $84.63,” Michael Paige reports for CBS MarketWatch.
Paige reports, “Following a recent round of visits and polls of Apple’s retail stores and other retailers, UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes said ‘Apple’s momentum continues -even into its seasonally slow second quarter and is getting set to build again throughout this calendar year with new products and retail expansion. Our checks indicate that the company is seeing a very solid reception for the new Mac Mini and iPod Shuffle, as well as strong sales of new PowerBooks,’ Reitzes said. He also continues to expect Apple will launch a new, higher-capacity version of its hugely popular iPod Mini and said he wouldn’t be surprised to see ‘a whole new generation of iPods later this calendar year.’ Retail traffic appears to be ‘extraordinary’ for Apple, with its retail outlets seeing up to a million visitors per week, the analyst said. To be sure, new products are selling out soon after shipments hit retail stores and many outlets have waiting lists for the Mac Mini. ‘While Dell and HP may be seeing consumer weakness of late, it does not appear that Apple is feeling any of this pressure,’ Reitzes asserted.”
“Reitzes raised his fiscal second-quarter earnings estimate to 45 cents a share, up from 41 cents previously, based on a 67 percent year-over-year gain in sales to $3.19 billion. For the entire year, the analyst increased his earnings expectation to $2.15 per share from an earlier estimate of $1.95 a share. He lifted his 2005 sales estimate to $13.7 billion, or a 65 percent rise from the prior year, from a prior estimate of $12.8 billion,” Paige reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s Q2 ’05 Quarterly Earnings Call is scheduled for April 13, 2005 and all eyes in the personal computer, consumer electronics, and the wider tech industry in general will be on Cupertino that day. 2005 is shaping up to be a seminal year for Apple and the company’s 2nd quarter results will give an important indication as to the strength of Apple’s Macintosh platform’s resurgence.
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UBS raises Apple target price from $85 to $99 on Mac mini, iPod shuffle information – February 14, 2005