updated 03:10 pm EDT, Fri April 18, 2008
Apple shares up 4.5%
Shares of Apple Computer Inc. are up $6.51 to $161 near the end of trading on friday, representing a gain of 4.21 percent. The uptick could be due, at least in part, to strong market share gains posted by the company in recent surveys from various research firms. Apple saw the biggest gain among the top 5 vendors in the U.S. market according to Gartner, enjoying strong retail sales coupled with "decent growth" in the professional market. According to IDC, Apple is expected to come in at fourth place and ship 950,000 Macs to Americans during the first quarter of 2008, earning itself an increase from 5.7 percent in the prior quarter to 6 percent. The increase is a 25.1 percent jump over sales in early 2007 and also represents more than a full percentage point increase in marketshare from year to year.
Apple is due to report earnings for its fiscal second quarter on April 23. MarketWatch reports that FactSet Research currently estimates that Apple will earn $1.11 a share on $6.97 billion in sales for the quarter. Apple previously forecast earnings of 94 cents a share on revenue of $6.8 billion for the quarter. Focal points will be iPhone and Mac sales.
Regarding iPods, the street expects iPod unit growth to be about 53 million in 2008, essentially flat year over year. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says "We disagree (with the street). We believe Apple can maintain iPod unit growth and slightly exceed Street expectations for the full year. While we do not believe the iPod will return to a high growth business (20%+), we do believe it will remain a growing segment (~10%)."