Apple shares closed at $130.3125 yesterday, following positive statements by Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette analyst Kevin McCarthy.

In a note to clients he said he is maintaining his estimates of $0.78 a share for its fiscal second quarter, ending in March.

McCarthy also affirmed that the buoyancy of PC sales generally, and Apple’s sales in particular, inclined him to predict possible earnings over estimates, Reuters reports. Apple will report its second quarter earnings on April 19.

He predicts 1.05 billion unit shipments in the second quarter, and said: "Apple is poised for a strong March, we now see the new products driving up our estimates." He also stated that checks with retailers indicated Apples new lines are selling "briskly".

PowerBook sales are set to exceed last quarters. Sales of Apples pro-level laptop dipped slightly as potential customers waited for the revised models to come on-stream. The new iBook SE is driving iBook sales once more, and the analyst claimed PowerMac G4 desktop computers are "flying off the shelves".

These reports, coupled with the persistent rumours of an Apple handheld device of some kind, serve to continue to consolidate Apple's success. The company is perceived as a market leader in the computer industry. An investor who purchased Apple shares on March 11, 1999 would already see over $100 profit per share.