updated 09:25 am EST, Thu December 22, 2005
Strong Mac, iPod sales
Piper Jaffray today reiterated its 'outperform' rating on Apple's stock, noting that checks with several Mac resellers show stronger iPod- and Mac-related holiday sales compared to last year. While some specialists said there were seeing some customers waiting to buy until the release of Intel-based Macs, most that are seeing this trend say that it is limited to only a handful of customers, according to a note issued this morning by Piper analyst Gene Munster. The survey also found that iPod inventory levels at Apple specialist stores were better than spotty selection at "big box" third-party retailers and nearly at the "full" levels of Apple retail stores. Munster found that 60 percent of resellers expect the December 2005 to be stronger than a year ago, while more than half of that number indicated that 2005 season would be "significantly better."
"In many cases, resellers indicated that this holiday season is up more than 30% compared to last year. Strength in the quarter is not limited to greater iPod sales, but both iPod and Mac are up year-over-year for most VARs. iMac sales appear to be very strong in the quarter."
Munster's report also said that 75 percent of Apple specialist stores said that the iMac is selling better than they would have expected. According to the report, only 15 percent of resellers were completely sold out of all iPods.