ATR: Apple Clearing Inventory Before New Product Launches (AAPL)

Apr. 3.06 | About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research sent a note to clients on the timing for new products from Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- excerpt:

With the Intel transition and high inventory of older iPod nanos, our sources indicate that Apple is aiming to work down inventories, particularly PowerPC Macs (iBook G4, 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBookG4s, PowerMacG5) and 2GB/4GB nanos in front of potential future product announcements...

For the March quarter, we believe Apple will likely beat its guidance of $4.3 billion and 38 cents, therefore leaving our forecast intact at $4.4 billion and 43 cents, Wu wrote, noting that the market consensus is at $4.6 billion and 44 cents.

Also, today's Wall St. Journal notes that Apple has its best chance in years to make a dent in the business market (sub. req.):

Apple has long been known for its loyal following among a certain class of design-conscious consumers, who swoon over the elegant contours and user-friendliness of Macs. But outside some pockets of strength -- in educational institutions, advertising agencies and desktop publishing, for instance -- Macs have been scarce within businesses...

Some companies... though, are embracing the latest Macs, citing that they are much less susceptible to crashes, offer more functions that businesses need and are viewed as more secure in terms of viruses and spyware than PCs that run on Windows. What's more, Apple is in the process of moving its entire line of Macs to microprocessors... made by Intel Corp. Those chips are allowing Apple to create Macs that could appeal to more businesses -- smaller, thinner machines that consume less power and perform functions faster.

AAPL 1-yr chart:

(Hat tip: Katie Marsal, Apple Insider)