“Needham & Co analysts yesterday raised their Apple price target from $83 to $104.. ‘We’re also raising our earnings per share estimates – from $1.85 to $2.05 in fiscal 2005 and from $2.25 to $2.50 in 2006. Maintain Buy,’ wrote analyst, Charles Wolf. Wolf observes that Apple’s at a crossroads with a recovery that begins with the launch of OS X, an OS that is now ‘light years ahead of Windows,'” Jonny Evans reports for Macworld UK.

“Apple’s inspired realization that consumers were ready to shift to digital consumer electronics products also helps. Its software and operating system means the company now offers the best collection of applications for the time, he adds. With the iPod and affordable Mac mini now available to consumers the company has a good opportunity to win Windows converts, he said, describing this as a ‘one-two punch.’ With Apple’s epoch appropriate software likely to keep those Windows switchers on the platform,” Evans reports.

“Despite these opportunities, Wolf is conservative in his assessment of the value of Windows-switchers to Apple’s bottom-line. His predictions are based on just 11 per cent of iPod-owning Windows users switching to Mac, with one in ten of these later abandoning the platform,” Evans reports. “With Mac mini’s selling strongly worldwide, Wolf says: ‘It’s possible, then, that the actual switch rate by Windows users could end up far higher than we’ve forecast,’ he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mac mini unit sales have to be one of the most-anticipated number from Apple ever. April 13, 2005 is when we’ll find out about Apple’s Q2’05 earnings.