Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) this morning raised its target price for Apple's stock, short hours after Merrill Lynch did the same.

CSFB now targets Apple stock at $40 (a twelve month target), with 2005 earnings of $1.17 per share on $10.75 billion revenues, up from earnings of 88 cents per share on revenue of $9.3 billion. CSFB initiated its fiscal 2006 estimate at earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue of $11.3 billion.

The analysts expects the first quarter 2005 to be "one of the best on record". It points to a series of factors for this - strong demand, "exciting" product cycles, improved supply and inventory refills, "all occurring at the same time".

Speaking to Bloomberg News late last night, Piper Jaffray analysys, Gene Munster, said of Apple's recent financial performance: "It's shocking. I'm shocked, even being a bull. Now I wish I'd been even more bull."

Apple chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer explained: "All the strategies we've been working on for several years have been harmonizing well."