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Needham Keeps Buy on Apple Computer

Apple Computer (AAPL) delayed shipment of the new version of its iMac desktop computer. Needham & Co. kept its buy rating on the shares.

Analyst Charles Wolf says Apple's new iMac will now ship in September (in line with his expectations), but that it stopped production of the current model because it expected the new iMac would ship sooner. He says Apple will probably run out of iMacs by the end of July, and will have no iMacs for sale from August to the mid-September launch of its new model. Wolf had estimated the company would sell about 150,000 iMacs in the September quarter; now the worst case is 50,000. The analyst says the weakness presents a buying opportunity in Apple shares, because the issue is supply, not demand. The good news, he notes, is that Apple will introduce the new redesigned iMac -- Wolf was previously uncertain as to the timing.

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