Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Calls of Note Part 1

- UBS is positive on Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) saying that line with their views outlined over the last 2 months, the firm believes iPod sales should be lower sequentially in 3Q06 but checks also show demand for the new MacBook is solid. Firm continues to expect new iPods next quarter to improve unit sales into year-end. Believe Mac revenues will accelerate into 2007.

To reflect checks that indicate more interest for new MacBooks & solid education buying, they are raising 3Q06 estimate for Mac units to 1.32mm units (was 1.24mm) & FY06 unit estimate to 5.1 mm (was 5.0 mm). Firm now estimates iPod unit sales of 7.8 mm for 3Q06 (was 8.4 mm) reflecting y/y growth of 27% (-8% q/q) & FY06 unit sales of 39.8 mm (was 40.9 mm).

Maintains ests and Buy rating. Target remains at $90.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know category.

- Piper Jaffray comments on Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK) noting the monthly Architectural Billings Index (ABI) was down in the month of May, showing the first negative score in 20 months in the pipeline of non- residential architects.

ABI is an indicator that provides a look into the six-month pipeline of ~300 architectural firms and their expectations for non-residential construction activity in the U.S. Over the last 12 quarters the average quarterly ABI has had a correlation of 0.86 with Autodesk's design solutions revenue.
Firm notes that while the ABI dipped to a negative score in the month of May, they will wait for multiple datapoints to make any determination about this becoming a visible trend. Currently the firm believes Autodesk will achieve Street estimates for Q2 and CY06 and maintains Outperform rating with $47 tgt.

Notablecalls: I would not be surprised to see some weakness on ADSK following Piper's call. Nice piece of research guys!

- Baird has reduced their fiscal fourth-quarter EPS estimate for Briggs & Stratton Corp (NYSE:BGG) to reflect what their contacts indicate is a weak lawn and garden season. Furthermore, they have lowered outlook for fiscal 2007 to account for lower production due to the expected resultant inventory overhang, rising commodities costs, slower housing starts, and adverse mix. Price target is reduced to $31 from $36 and cautious view is maintained pending 4Q06 results and F2007 guidance.

Firm's contacts in the lawn and garden channel from component suppliers to engine competitors to mower manufacturers to parts distributors to retailers indicate the weak start to the lawn season has continued into June. Supplier contacts confirm Briggs has trimmed component orders as it reduces production schedules.

Separately, they believe that Chinese-made engines are being specified by Toro/Home Depot for F2007/ 8, raising added concerns about competitive pressures and industry pricing.

Notablecalls: Actionable call! No question about it. Expect to see at least 1 pt (and possibly more) downside today.

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