updated 10:50 am EST, Thu January 6, 2005
iTunes sales to help AAPL
A trend showing increased digital music sales could . Piper Jaffray said iTunes could see a significant boost in digital music downloading, according to Forbes. Maintaining its Apple rating of "outperform" with a $100 price target, the analyst noted that Nielsen Soundscan "shows a material uptick in digital downloads" in each of the last two weeks with track volumes at 5.046 million for the week ending December 26 and nearly 6.7 million the following week.
"Previously, weekly track sales had been bound between 3.0 million and 4.0 million throughout October, November and December. [Apple] will be the primary beneficiary of growth in the online music industry for a minimum of several quarters." Piper raised its iTunes December downloads estimate to 68.5 million--up from just over 52 million, which could mean as many 474 million downloads in calendar 2005--if the download rate holds up--nearly doubling the previous 2005 estimate of 256 million downloads.