Thursday, December 28, 2006

Calls of Note Part 2

- Thomas Weisel Partners comments on Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) this morning after completing a round of about 20 channel checks with Apple specialist resellers and Apple retail stores across the United States and checks suggest strong "holiday season" demand for Intel-based Macs and iPods.

Checks suggest that 50% of Mac buyers are switchers and that there is strong demand for the MacBook ($1099 to $1499), especially the entry level white notebook as well as the slightly more expensive black models. They continue to believe that the real key to the Apple story over the next 12 months will be the actual Mac units sold.

Checks also indicated strong demand for 4GB nano ($199), which is available in five different colors and is the best selling iPod for the holiday season. The second best selling iPod is the 2GB nano ($149). More than 80% of checks indicated that the demand for iPods has increased compared to last quarter and last year.

Firm's Mac checks indicate strong demand and supply for Intel based Mac notebooks. However, they are already estimating 41.5%y/y growth for Mac units and they remain comfortable with current estimates.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know category. The stock is down over 5% in pre mkt trading after the FT reported that the co gave Chief Executive Steve Jobs 7.5 million stock options in 2001 without the required authorization of the company's board. Records purporting to show that a full board meeting had taken place to approve the remuneration, as required by Apple's procedures, were later falsified, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

While I continue to believe Steve Jobs did not act deliberately, I suspect trading dynamics of yesterday will dictate today's action. Too many dip buyers showed up yesterday.

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