Apple (AAPL): Mid-Quarter Channel Checks = Wildly Bullish

American Technology Research has completed its mid-quarter channel checks for Apple (AAPL) and emerged wildly bullish. Analyst Shaw Wu now regards the company’s Q4 guidance as conservative and believes Apple will once again beat consensus.

AmTech’s specifics:

  • Macs. Our sources also indicate continued strength in Mac sales driven by Mac OS X Leopard and switchers.  We remain comfortable with our forecast of 2.3 million Macs vs. consensus estimates of ~2.2 million.
  • iPods. Our sources indicate that iPod sales are tracking ahead of expectations with an acceleration in “fat boy” nanos and iPod touch more than offsetting slower growth in iPod shuffle and iPod classic.  We are also picking up that iPod ASPs will likely trend higher.  (We are now modelling $164 (from $162).  Normally the holiday quarter sees a trend down in ASPs.) 
  • iPhones. iPhone sales appear to be tracking in-line to slightly below consensus view of ~2-2.1 million units (up 79-88% Q/Q).  It appears Europe’s ramp is less robust than expected due to high pricing and customer service snags offset by better than expected strength in the USA.

AmTech has raised its Q4 estimates above the Street consensus and is pounding the table on the stock. Our Apple Key Metrics spreadsheet is here.

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