Apple shares rose $1.35 on trading yesterday following positive predictions from Needham & Co and Piper Jaffray.

In notes released to clients yesterday, Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf raised his outlook on Apple stock to 'Buy' from 'Hold' with a $90 target price.

The analyst cited recent research which indicates Apple's home market share in the US could triple as a result of its introduction of Boot Camp technology within its next iteration of Mac OS X.

"Although seemingly small, this increase would have almost tripled the Mac's share in these markets and translated into a 75 per cent increase in total Mac shipments in 2005," he wrote.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted Apple could enjoy a "breakout fourth quarter", based on its updated and in-demand product releases. The analyst said that checks with his channel sources indicated that demand for MacBooks and MacBook Pros is strong.

He also claimed that MacBook demand has been higher than the already impressive initial demand for Apple's professional notebooks.

He warns that current quarter iPod sales growth may have "softened", but predicts "big news" in the fourth quarter, which ends in September. He did add that demand has not weakened against previous quarterly levels, and that resellers are still experiencing a steady stream of sales.

"We believe September has the potential to be a breakout quarter for Apple due to the convergence of the following factors: back-to-school selling season, full availability of MacBook and MacBook Pro, Boot Camp impact on overall Mac demand, PC-to-Mac switcher ad campaign, and the halo effect," Munster wrote.

He rates Apple as an 'outperforming' stock with a $99 target price.

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