updated 01:25 pm EDT, Mon September 24, 2007
Citigroup upbeat on Macs
Apple's September quarter is looking to be very strong based on sales of its new iMacs, according to one analyst. Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner on Monday raised his earnings estimates and price target for Apple, saying he expects the company sell more Macs than expected during the quarter ending on September 30th. The price target was raised to $180 from $160, helping push Apple's stock higher by three percent to 148.78 -- near an all-time high. Gardner raised his forecast for Mac unit sales for the September quarter to 2.17 million units from 2.0 million, citing "stronger than expected iMac momentum following the August 7 product refresh," according to Barron's Blog.
Meanwhile, the analyst also noted that contract pricing for several key components, including DRAM and NAND flash memory chips, are trending lower again -- which, he claims, will continue to help Apple's margins for the upcoming December quarter.
Gardner raised his EPS estimate for the September 2008 fiscal year to $4.76 a share from $4.30 based on higher gross margins, lower operating expense assumptions and better-than-expected Mac sales. For Fiscal year 2009, he raised estimates to $6.35 from $5.55.