Tomorrow Apple releases its first quarter results for its fiscal year 2004, during a quarterly conference call with analysts. Already, speculation from analysts is buoying Apple’s stock price in Tuesday trading.
Thomas Weisel raised its rating for Apple from Peer Perform to Outperform, for example. Merrill Lynch reinstated coverage of Apple with a “buy” rating and a price target of $29. Merrill Lynch said that Apple has “gotten its act together in focusing on core markets, building a mature management team and, most important, innovating again.” Merrill Lynch anticipates a 2004 earnings-per-share of 42 cents.
Interestingly, it’s recently come to light that during 2003 mutual fund management firm Janus Capital Group Inc. reduced its investment in Apple from 6.5 percent to 2.8 percent — a difference of about 13 million shares from what’s reported in Apple’s March proxy statement, which covers up to the end of January, 2003. The news came following an SEC filing.
Apple stock was up 0.59 on the day to 24.32 as MacCentral posted this article; Apple’s 52-week high is 25.01.