Expectation that Apple will see strong fiscal first-quarter earnings and stronger iPod shipments has lead analysts at Goldman Sachs to raise estimates on the company.

The analysts also predict strength in Apple's other consumer offerings and higher traffic at Apple's retail stores.


But the firm adds a note of caution: "While we remain extremely positive about Apple's fundamentals and continue to look for entry points, we think that investors would be better served to wait until after Macworld and Apple's earnings when the stock's 2005 outlook can be judged in a more settled light."

Forbes reports that Goldman Sachs has raised the fiscal 2005 earnings estimate to $1.62 per share from $1.49, and the fiscal 2006 estimate to $2.02 from $1.84.

Vast majority

Goldman Sachs noted that the iPod will "again account for the vast majority of the upside," and raised estimated iPod shipments for first quarter to 4.5 million from 4 million.

First-quarter estimate of earnings rose from 46 cents to 51 cents per share on revenue of $3.197 billion (previously estimated at $3.064 billion).