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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is Apple Still A "Buy"?

Bear Stearns confirmed it "outperform" rating on Apple today. Hard to believe.There is a rumor, probably true, that Universal will launch a free music service to compete with iTunes.

Sandisk is in the process of introducing a new multimedia player. They are second in the market behind iPod, and the new product will have more storage space for less money.

Toshiba showed the new blueprints for the Microsoft Zune player. It would appear to have at least one edge on the iPod. It supports WiFi that can hook up to at least four devices at a time.

On the computer front, Apple has now had to recall batteries for over one million Macs. The fault in the units lies with Sony, who built them, but that action hardly drives consumer confidence in Mac computers, or those built by Dell, which had a similar recall. Will sales of Mac be affected. Perhaps.

Then there is the options pricing issue at Apple and the delisting notice sent by the Nasdaq. Will Apple file on time? Will it make it through the appeals process at Nasdaq? Probably, but no one knows for sure.

At $67, Apples stock is still double what it was in late 2004. It does not need much of a push to move down. It probably needs a big one to move up alot.

A "buy". It's a hard case to make.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about...

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