Analysts are still reeling at the shock of Apple projecting aggressive targets for the coming Christmas quarter.
Apple has historically offered deeply conservative assessments for future performance, but this time round Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer predicted revenue in excess of what analysts had suspected.
Analysts across the board raised their estimates on Apple stock: UBSCaris and Company, Bear Sterns, JMP Securities, BMO Capital Markets, Morgan Keegan, and Broadpoint Capital all raised their estimates on the stock.
Analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research - who also increased estimates - put it thus: "Apple's December quarter guidance was the biggest surprise. Most were anticipating the usual conservativeness and a guide-down.
"However, Apple guided to $9.2 billion and $1.42, materially above already optimistic consensus estimates of $8.6 billion and $1.39. The last time Apple guided in-line to higher than consensus estimates was for the December 2005 quarter (eight quarters ago)."
Wu, who rates Apple as a stock to buy, immediately increased his Apple stock target price to $210 from $185.
The analyst observed continued strength in Mac shipments (2.2 million units), surpassing estimates, he also noted that computers sold tended to be the better models in the range.
As a result of continued strength across all Apple product lines and the company's positive Q1 prediction, Wu raised his estimates on the stock: "For financial year 2008, we are now modelling $30.4 billion and $5.00 per share (from $30 billion and $4.55 per share) and for financial year 09, we are introducing estimates of $34.5 billion and $5.70 per share," he said.
Wu expects Apple to sell 2.3 million Macs, 24 million iPods, and 2 million iPhones in the first quarter 2008.