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Thursday, February 24, 2005, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Analyst: 11% of Windows iPod users to buy a Mac

In a research note released to clients on Thursday and obtained by AppleInsider, Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf raised his target price on Apple Computer to $104 a share. The analyst reiterated his assumption that 11% of Windows users owning iPods will purchase a Mac, and notes that sales at the iTunes Music Store have accelerated to a $450 million annual run rate. "The increase in music sales in combination with a decrease in peripheral sales in our revised model raises Apple's overall gross profits because music sales are much more profitable than peripheral sales," Wolf said. In addition to raising its Apple price target from $83 to $104, the firm also raised its earnings per share estimates from $1.85 to $2.00 in fiscal 2005, and from $2.25 to $2.50 in 2006. Needham maintains a 'Buy' rating on Apple.