updated 12:50 pm EDT, Thu July 20, 2006
Needham on 3rd quarter
Needham & Company analyst Charles Wolf today stressed Apple's "blowout" third quarter, raising earnings per share estimates due in part to "stunning" notebook shipments. "Apple got through another quarter of its transition to the Intel processor family," Wolf wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "We believe the Power Mac, the only model not running on Intel, will receive its Intel upgrade at the Worldwide Developers Conference on August 7th." Laptop shipments totaled 800,000 -- up 61 percent despite Apple's introduction of the new MacBook halfway through the quarter. "In our opinion [Apple's MacBook is] the best Mac yet in terms of price/performance," Wolf said.
The analyst believes Apple will refocus on its consumer initiative once Labor Day has passed, and that the company could introduce a new iPod model. Wolf also believes Apple could double the capacity of its iPod nano, supporting rumors that the Cupertino-based company will debut an 8GB flash-based iPod, which were based on further NAND flash orders.
The analyst raised his fiscal 2006 GAAP earnings per share estimate from $1.95 to $2.15 and his 2007 estimate from $2.45 to $2.50. Wolf also maintained a buy rating on Apple shares with a $90 price target.