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Analyst Report: iTunes Store Still Shows Strong Growth
Wednesday, December 13th, 2006 at 7:50 AM - by
Countering reports of plummeting iTunes Store sales, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Apple's music sales are showing strong year over year growth. He commented "In light of recent media reports of slowing iTunes sales, we analyzed music sales data and saw strong year over year growth in 2005 and 2006. Specifically, we compared total sales between January and September of '05 and '06 and saw 78 percent growth during that period."
The iTunes Store also shows seasonal sales trends. Songs-per-day sales spike in January and can be over 50 percent higher than annual sales averages. The upswing is likely a result of holiday iPod and iTunes Gift Card sales. Mr. Munster expects a similar surge again in January 2007.
After the strong post-holiday season, however, sales tend to gradually slow down through the rest of the year. "After strong post-holiday sales the weekly run-rate decelerated in both 2005 and 2006 (-5% in '05 and -27% in '06), which we view as a regular seasonal pattern," he said.
Piper Jaffray isn't the only firm to dispute the claims of "collapsing" iTunes sales. Blackfriar's Marketing issued its own report on Wednesday disputing the research originally conducted by Forrester Research.
Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating for Apple stock with a target price of US$99. Apple is currently trading at $87.40, up 1.26 (1.46%) in the pre-market.
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