updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu April 20, 2006
Analyst lowers estimates
Merrill Lynch today lowered its June quarter iPod sales estimates from 10.7 million to 9.2 million based on a deceleration in March. The firm cut fiscal year 2006 iPod sales estimates from 47.1 million to 43.4 million, and adjusted June quarter revenue and earnings per share estimations to reflect Apple's financial results during its second quarter. Merrill Lynch expects Fiscal 2006 earnings per share to total $2.13, down from $2.20, and fiscal 2007 estimates fell to $2.84 from $2.94. "Our June quarter revenue and earnings per share estimates are revised down to less than the typical excess of actual results over guidance," analyst Richard Farmer wrote. Farmer expects Apple's management to focus on growth by increasing features and capacity at constant price points, which will increasingly cut into the company's margin over time.