'Ginormous' Holiday Season for Macs - RBC's Abramsky

Jan.14.08 | About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are up smartly heading into Tuesday morning keynote by CEO Steve Jobs at the Macworld trade show in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. One week later, the company will report earnings for the fiscal first quarter ended December.

RBC Capital’s Mike Abramsky Monday morning asserted that store checks and customer surveys suggest Apple had a “ginormous” holiday season for Mac sales. He now thinks December quarter Mac units were 2.5 million, up from his previous estimate of 2.4 million. That would be up 14% sequentially, and 54% year over year. He sees 1.6 million laptops, and 900,000 desktops. On the other hand, he cut his iPod forecast to 24.4 million to 25.3 million.

Abramsky’s guesses on Tuesday’s announcements include:

  • Ultra-thin and light $1200-plus 13-inch Macbook - the Macbook Air - with a solid-state flash drive.
  • Updated wireless computing strategies, including laptop support for WiMax and HSDPA, the 3G standard used by AT&T (NYSE:T).
  • Various iTunes announcements, including movie rentals, more DRM-free music.
  • Apple TV update.
  • Media Server.

Abramksy says a 3G iPhone announcement is not likely tomorrow. But he says there could be further carrier announcements - Canada, maybe - and possibly a 16GB iPhone. He also says there could be discussion of the SDK for the iPhone, which is due next month. He expects 1.65 million iPhones were sold in Q1, with 1.2 million in the U.S. and 450,000 in Europe.

Abramsky ups his estimates for the September 2008 fiscal year to $32.8 billion in revenue and EPS of $5.11, from $32.7 billion and $5.08. For ‘09, his EPS estimate goes to $6.23, from $6.19. Abamsky has a $215 price target on the stock.

Apple Monday is up $3.98, or 2.3%, to $176.67.