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Apple to post quarterly results at market close

Analysts are looking for strong sales of Macintosh computers from Apple Computer, which will post its third fiscal quarter results at the close of the stock market this afternoon.

Wall Street is predicting the company will post a profit of 31 cents a share on revenues of $3.34 billion, above Apple\'s guidance of 28 cents a share on $3.25 billion in revenues. The company is expected to see significant upside from sales of its new Mac OS X Tiger operating system, with shipments nearing 3 million.

Apple, which sold 5.3 million iPods and 1,070,000 Macs during its previous quarter, will likely need to report sales of at least that many iPods and 1.1 million Macs in order to please investors who\'ve already baked high expectations into the company\'s stock price.

Apple will hold its Third Quarter Results Conference call for analysts and the media at 2:00 p.m. PDT/5:00 p.m. EDT. AppleInsider will provide its usual coverage of of the briefing shortly thereafter.

During the year-ago quarter, Apple earned $61 million, or 8 cents a share, on $2.01 billion in revenue.