Apple will announce its first quarter results at 10pm (UK time) tonight, and analysts expect another strong quarter from the firm.

Apple will meet or exceed its $6.0-6.2 billion revenue target in its Christmas quarter, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said. He reckons Apple will achieve $6.4 billion for the quarter.

The analyst, who rates Apple stock as a 'buy' with a $99 target price, cites "continued strength" in the Mac business with 1.8 million Macs sold. He also explains a "continued rebound" in iPod sales, he anticipates Apple will have sold 15.5 million iPods over the Christmas quarter.

Wu expects Apple will offer a second quarter target of $5.1-5.3 billion in revenue, but that's based on a seasonal decline in iPod shipments, adding: "We believe the Apple TV with its attractive price point of $299 could be a surprise hit."

Apple is unlikely to furnish any additional details regarding the US Attornery's Office's criminal probe into past options grants by the company, which could eventually force Apple CEO Steve Jobs to leave the company.