MANHASSET, N.Y. The anticipated introduction of an Intel-based laptop along with robust iPod sales is likely to drive earnings of Apple Computer Inc. higher, according to Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner in a Reuters report.
Gardner reportedly raised his target on the computer maker's stock price to $71 from $51 and boosted his earnings forecasts for the next two years. For the current quarter, Gardner raised his revenue estimate to $5.5 billion from $4.8 billion and his earnings-per share forecast to 60 cents from 47 cents.
He also raised his 2006 revenue forecast to $20.4 billion from $17.6 billion and his earnings estimate to $2.16 a share from $1.72, according to the report.
In a note to clients, Gardner reportedly said, "We are becoming more convinced that Apple will introduce its first Intel-based PowerBook at Macworld San Francisco." That conference runs from January 9 to 13.
have been circulating that Apple would introduced an Intel-based PowerBook computer in January. Gardner said these product introductions would be sooner than expected, which should help minimize the risk that Apple would end up with a buildup of its current line of non-Intel laptops as customers anticipate the arrival of the new models.
For 2007, Gardner expects revenue of $24.3 billion and per-share profit of $2.61, up from his previous forecasts of $19.6 billion and $1.93.