Apple has been assessed as a stock to buy by analysts at Banc of America Securities.

Forbes reports the analysts raised Apple's earnings-per-share estimates for 2005 and 2006 to $1.32 and $1.44 respectively. Previous assessments were $1.29 and $1.40. The target stock price has been lowered by $1 to $43.

"The research firm forecasts sales 5.4 million iPod units and Mac unit growth rates of 26 per cent to 28 per cent, respectively, for the fiscal third quarter," the report claims.

They report weak iPod shuffle sales, but also observe demand for iPod minis has been strong. They anticipate an "LCD-based refresh" for Apple's iPod shuffle product range.