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6/28/2006
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Brief: Apple Stock Slides As Analyst Predicts iPod Delays

An anticipated three-month delay led an analyst at American Technology Research to scale back his price target for Apple stock, touching off a -2.5% slide in the stock price.

Shares of Apple Computer slip after a Wall Street analyst says the next iPods would be delayed three months or more.

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu dropped his price target for Apple stock to $75 a share from his previous estimate of $101, saying that the next-generation iPod nanos and video iPods would both slip in shipping.

The iPod nano, which earlier reports had pegged to debut in the third quarter, likely won't appear until the fourth quarter, Wu said in a research note. The widescreen video iPod, meanwhile, may be backed into the first half of 2007 from its anticipated fourth quarter 2006 delivery.

Wu's take took Apple shares on a downward glide of $1.41 to $56.02 (-2.5 percent).

The analyst said Apple's switch in chip suppliers was the cause of the predicted delay. In April, long-time iPod chip maker PortalPlayer announced its new controller had not been picked to outfit the next wave of flash-based iPods.

Earlier this month, both Wu and fellow analyst Richard Farmer of Merrill Lynch trimmed their iPod sales estimates and agreed that Apple was too optimistic. Wu cut his forecast from 8.5 million units in the third quarter to 8.2 million, while Farmer dropped his from 9.2 million to 8.1 million.

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