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Some analysts bullish on Apple

Although the Mac maker blew past most estimates for its third-quarter earnings, not all analysts are blindsided by the news.

Apple Computer surpassed most Wall Street estimates for its third-quarter earnings, but not all analysts were blindsided by the news.

Louis Mazzucchelli, an analyst with the investment banking firm Gerard Klauer Mattison & Company, was among three analysts who rose above the pack to anticipate the higher numbers.

Apple yesterday posted third-quarter earnings of 50 cents per share. Mazzucchelli had forecast 42 cents.

That beat the consensus earnings estimates among analysts of 33 cents per share, according to First Call. It also was on the high end of the range, which was as high as 44 cents and as low as 23 cents per share.

"All the data has been there for anyone to see if they do the work," he said. "It's not hidden under rocks."

Analysts receive the same inventory and accounting information from companies they follow, but Mazzucchelli relied on a mixture of those numbers, some personal experience in the computer industry-- and a touch of faith in Apple--to determine his estimate.

"Maybe I had more faith in Apple's ability to sell units than some other folks," he said.

Kevin McCarthy, an analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and Don Young of Prudential Securities, also estimated higher earnings of 42 cents and 44 cents, respectively.

Mazzucchelli said his analysis was pretty straightforward. He tried to estimate how many units of different kinds of products were going to sell and at what price. He also scoured the operating expenses data provided by Apple.

He said he has absolute faith in Apple for its fourth-quarter run. "I think this is a very exciting story," Mazzucchelli added. "I think momentum is building for the company."

Despite Apple's stock trading at a new 52-week high today, many analysts remain doubtful that the computer maker can achieve sustainable growth.