Apple's share price rose yesterday after Salomon Smith Barney raised its rating on the stock from neutral to buy, reflecting Apple's earnings announcement Wednesday.

The broker praised Apple's cost management, the new iMac, Mac OS X and its digital consumer-products. The analysts raised its 2002 and 2003 profit forecasts for Apple, reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports that AG Edwards upgraded the stock to a strong buy, from buy.

Merrill Lynch's Steve Fortuna was very positive in his guidance notes about the company, who said that Apple's strong order book made him upbeat about the March quarter.

Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Jon Mano was more reserved, saying Apple's outlook was overly optimistic, and pointing out the risks of rising component costs to the company's bottom line.

Apple's stock gained 8.18 per cent during the day, closing at $22.48 – a rise of $1.70 on the day.