Wu: Apple’s ‘blowout’ first quarter

Kaufman's chief Apple analyst sees strength in all three major product lines

In a note to clients posted Wednesday morning, Kaufman Bros.' Shaw Wu gave three reasons for raising his Apple (aapl) price target to $253 from $235.

  1. Record-setting iPhone shipments. Wu's 9.5 million estimate is 700,000 higher that the Street's consensus of 8.8 million and only 600,000 below Research in Motion's (rimm) best-ever BlackBerry quarter.
  2. "Strong momentum" in the Mac product line driven by new iMacs and MacBooks. If it weren't for the limiting factor of LED supplies, Wu would be raising his target of 2.9 million Macs in Apple's first fiscal 2010 quarter (consensus is at 2.85 million).
  3. iPod touch momentum driven by the iTunes App Store and strong uptake in the new video-equipped iPod nano. His "aggressive" 22 million iPod target is 2 million units higher than the Street's consensus.

Below: Wu's new predictions for the quarterly report due out next month.

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  • Higher gross margin 34.8% (up from 34.3%)
  • Higher revenues: $12.4 billion (up from $11.7 billion; consensus is $11.9 billion)
  • Higher EPS: $2.15 in EPS (up from $1.99; consensus is $2.04).
  • For fiscal 2010: $44.4 billion in revenue and $7.40 in EPS (up from $41.7 billion and $6.80).

Apple closed Wednesday at a record $211.64. The stock's all-time intraday high of $213.88 was set on Monday.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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