A pair of analysts see an end-of-the-year uptick in Apple’s computer sales



Photo: Apple Inc.

“Our conversations with industry contacts suggest that the Mac shipment levels have improved over the last two weeks,” writes J.P. Morgan’s Mark Moskowitz in a report to clients issued Monday morning.

In that report, he raised his both his estimate for Mac sales in the December quarter (to 3.29 million from 3.17 million) and his Apple AAPL price target for the new year (to $230 from $220).

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, meanwhile, waited for Monday’s data from the NPD Group to come to a similar, but slightly less bullish conclusion. Based on retail data for October and November that show Mac sales in the U.S. up 21% year over year, Munster estimates that Apple will sell between 2.9 and 3 million Macs before the end of the quarter. (The Street is looking for 2.85 million Macs.)

Munster is sticking with his $277 price target. Apple closed at $196.98, up 2.31 points (1.19%) for the day.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]