Banc of America Securities lowered its 2003 earnings-per-share estimate on Apple in response to the company's lowered profit-forecast announced during its financial results yesterday.

Reporting its first quarterly loss in nearly two years, Apple said its next-quarter results, to be announced in December, would show a slight revenue increase and profit from the quarter just ended.

Analyst Joel Wagonfeld explained that the revised forecast is less than the analyst firm had expected: "We had projected a 14 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue, with earnings per share of seven cents."

Banc of America is lowering its first-quarter earnings-per-share estimate to two cents on revenues of $1.5 billion, and fiscal year earnings per share estimate to 23 cents from 38 cents.

Apple's shares were yesterday valued at $14.11 at close of business on Nasdaq.