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Apple shares hit four-year high

iPod sales accelerating PC-to-Mac switching, says analyst

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Are iPod sales feeding demand for Apple's computing products? US investment bank Piper Jaffray seems to think so, after talking to a bunch of PC-using iPod owners.

In a report issued yesterday, PJ analyst Gene Munster noted that 13 per cent of iPod users he spoke to claimed to be ex-PC users, with just under half of them having deserted to the Mac platform and the rest planning to do so within the next 12 months. What persuaded them to move? Their positive experience with the iPod.

Taking the claims with a pinch of salt, Munster estimates that only half of that number will actually ditch Wintel for Mac. Even so, that's enough to persuade him to up his AAPL price target to $100 a share and to re-iterate his 'outperform' rating.

Apple shares closed at $61.35 on Nasdaq, up 11 per cent on the opening price, itself down slightly on Friday's $56.91 close, not only a year-high but the highest the stock has climbed since September 2000. During the day, AAPL shares were trading at $64, Forbes.com reports.

Meanwhile, Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Robert Cihra upped his Q1 FY 2005 = which ends 31 December - revenue forecast 12.9 per cent to $3.23bn, from $2.86bn. He expects Apple's quarterly earnings to hit 50 cents a share, up from his previous forecast of 41 cents a share. The reason: iPod shipments will double sequentially to 4m units.

Last quarter, Apple sold 2.02m iPods and saw income of $106m (26 cents a share) on sales totalling $2.35bn. ®

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