Apple is expected to announce another strong quarter and full-year results tonight, with annual profits expected to exceed $1 billion by some analysts.

Wall Street analysts expect Apple will return revenues of $3.72 billion for 37 cents earnings per share in the current quarter.

That's up from 27 cents per share and $2.35 billion in the year-ago quarter, when Apple delivered its highest fourth-quarter revenue in nine years. Apple has beaten analysts' earnings estimates for the last six quarters.

While iPod sales are expected to drive the company's success, Mac sales seem set to be very strong.

CBS Marketwatch reports Merrill Lynch analyst Richard Farmer expects Mac revenues to grow 25 per cent over the $1.23 billion the company reported a year ago.

Farmer thinks Apple will have sold 1.17 million Macs in the current quarter, up 40 per cent, according to Bloomberg News.

CNN reports that UBS analyst Benjamin Reitzes estimates Apple will have shipped 6.75 million iPods in the just-gone quarter - and possibly as many as ten million.

Apple shipped 2.02 million iPods a year ago. This has led some analysts to warn that iPod sales are at their peak.

Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg doesn't agree, and sees a future market for the music players: "If you live in New York City, it's like one big Apple commercial," he said. "But if you're not in New York or San Francisco, you don't see this same level of technology penetration. Right now the market is Apple's."

Apple will follow up tonight's financial results with a special announcement tomorrow night.

Pre-announcement rumours presently suggest one or more of the following announcements: a video-enabled iPod; new Power Macs, PowerBooks, Mac minis or iMac G5s; two new higher-capacity iPod models; an AirPort unit integrating recently-ratified WiFi technologies to deliver stable streaming of video and voice over a wireless network; a new iPod shuffle at a lower price point.

However, all pre-announcement rumours could be false.