Bear Sterns analyst Andrew Neff this morning raised his target price on Apple stock to $97 from $87.

The news has seen Apple gain $1.04 (1.48 per cent) on pre-market trades this morning, driving the company ever-closer to ist 52-week high ($74.42).

Neff also raised his 2006 earnings forecast to $3.05 per share from $2.80. He observed "evidence" that iPod sales won't see what he described as "normal seasonal weakness" in the quarter.