Excellent financial results from Apple yesterday drove trading in the company high on the after-hours market last night.

Positive momentum on the shares continues this morning on pre-market trading. Apple closed at $39.75 last night. Shares rose again in the after-hours market, and currently stand at $42.87, up $3.12 (7.85 per cent). This is well above its 52-week high.

With its highest profits for nine years, Apple is a Wall Street heartthrob. Analysts at Merrill Lynch this morning upgraded their price target on the company - to $49, $5 above the previous target.

Apple's earnings upside in the quarter "was entirely in iPods as Mac sales suffered from continued shortages of the G5 chip from IBM," Merrill said. "Because we believe in the halo effect of iPod, the positive impact on Mac sales may still be coming."