It won't be a complete surprise to Wall Street to see another quarter of earnings and revenue upside from Apple ( AAPL) on Wednesday. A report of hefty holiday iPod sales is likely to deliver another nudge to a stock that closed at an all-time high Tuesday. Apple, which reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings after the closing bell, has seen its shares take a volatile ride over the past few months. The stock fell more than 10% in December, but sharply rebounded after Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's
new iPhone -- as well as Apple TV, a device that plays PC-generated videos and music over home entertainment systems -- to the Mac faithful at an annual gathering last week. Still, the news that Cisco ( CSCO) is suing the company for allegedly violating Cisco's iPhone trademark, as well as reports that federal authorities are zeroing in on a grant of 7.5 million stock options to Jobs, weighed on the highflying shares just before the holiday weekend. On Tuesday, however, investors seemed to want a piece of a possible post-earnings bump. Shares of the Cupertino, Calif., company closed up 2.6% to $97.10. The first quarter is typically the strongest for Apple, thanks to holiday sales. In 2006, its December-quarter sales represented about 30% of the company's annual revenue. For the quarter, the average analyst estimate from a survey by Thomson First Call pegs Apple for a profit of 78 cents a share and revenue of $6.42 billion.