Apple ( AAPL) is selling more notebooks than Wall Street realizes and should beat earnings estimates next year, Bank of America said in upgrading the stock to buy Monday.

Bank of America raised its estimate of Apple's earnings in the year ending September 2007 to $2.66 a share from $2.44 a share. It raised its price target on the stock to $79 from $68, which reflects a multiple of roughly 26 over the new profit estimate, adjusted for cash and interest.

Apple shares closed at $65.59 apiece Friday, down 9% on the year. The current Thomson First Call consensus for the year ending September 2007 is $2.59 a share.

"The drivers of our estimates and rating change is higher unit estimates for systems and iPods," the brokerage says. "In particular, our channel checks show higher end demand for MacBooks than our previous checks -- we are raising our forecast by 300,000 units for the combined September and December quarters and a like amount for FY07."

Bank of America said Street expectations on iPod shipments have fallen into line with its own estimate, which it raised by 4% for the next fiscal year.

"Depending on whether Apple can generate enough additional unit sales in the second half of calendar 2006, we see upside potential in EPS from iPod of 8 cents to 12 cents," it writes.

In premarket trading, shares of Apple rose $1.43, or 2.2%, to $67.02.

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