Apple stock climbed again yesterday as analysts offered warm responses to the company's product launches on Tuesday.
The stock is now valued at $74.20, with analysts noting price targets of around $90 on the shares.
The company launched new iPods (including an 80GB model); new iPod nanos (in an aluminium case with a maximum 8GB capacity); a new iPod shuffle (a tiny aluminium music player that seemingly ships without headphones) and introduced its movie download service through a new version of iTunes, iTunes 7.
Apple also demonstrated a new product with the temporary name of iTV. This device streams movies from your computer to your television, and brings Apple into the living room.
Needham & Co analyst Charles Wolf sees iTunes as the most significant product introduction, saying: "iTunes represents the most significant barrier to competitors ever challenging Apple's dominance in the mobile multimedia market."
"It's the software, stupid. It is an overused expression, but nonetheless software has been the secret sauce of Apple's success in conquering the legal online music market, where it has an 88 per cent share in the US," he said.
Wolf rates Apple stock as a buy with a $90 price target. He warns that the major risk to success across all markets and from all vendors remains consumer confidence. If shoppers don't buy things this Christmas, then everyone's results will be impacted.
Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner focused on the new iTV device, which he noted could, "provide an incentive for consumers to remain with iTunes instead of moving to Windows Media following the introduction of Zune". He rates the stock as a 'buy'.
Banc of America analyst Keith Bachman described Apple's new announcements as representing a "meaningful strategic step towards defining itself as the leading vendor/partner for converged digital content." That analyst also rates Apple as 'buy'.
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Semple is also fixated by the iTV device (scheduled to ship early next year). He sees that gadget as "expanding" Apple's market.
"Apple's eventual entry into the media hub market adds another layer to the investment story," he wrote, also assessing the stock as one to buy.
JMP Research analyst Ingrid Eberling holds a conservative assessment on the stock, but she raised her value all the same, from $72 to $76 per share and declaring Apple stock a 'strong buy'.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says he believes the new iPod range to be "more than enough to reverse the two-quarter decline in iPod sales". Looking to iTV he sees a "new leg" emerging for the company's future growth, calling the living room Apple's "third major market".
Finally, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu also carries a 'buy' rating on Apple stock, with a $91 price target. While he called Apple's announcements "in line with expectations", he also praised the company for some less obvious achievements, including better battery life, higher-resolution video and an improved user interface in iTunes and iPods.
Battery life is particularly important, he said: "We believe Apple is one step (or perhaps two steps) closer to adding widescreen and/or Bluetooth capabilities (to iPods)."
The analyst - well-known for predicting the future, added: "We now have a higher conviction that these capabilities will show up in a device in the first half of 2007".