UPDATE 1-JP Morgan raises Apple target, earnings estimates

July 17 (Reuters) - J.P. Morgan Securities raised its price target and earnings estimates for Apple Inc AAPL.O and recommended investors add positions in the stock.

“We expect a strong showing from Apple in the June quarter,” said analysts led by Mark Moskowitz, who raised his target on the stock of the Mac computer and iPhone maker to $167.50 from $155.

Apple’s business volumes should exceed investors’ expectations and inputs from primary research contacts indicate a Mac notebooks surge in the second half of the June quarter, Moskowitz said in a note to clients.

The analyst raised his unit estimates for the company’s total Mac business to 2.50 million from 2.13 million for the quarter.

The build activity in the supply chain related to the iPhone continues to rise, said Moskowitz, who also raised his iPhone unit estimates for the period to 4.34 million from 3.88 million.

The analyst said Apple’s iPod touch -- “a quasi-netbook device” -- offered enough features to partially take advantage of increasing customer adoption of netbooks, which are stripped-down, budget laptops.

However, he said he was concerned that the traditional iPods could exhibit lighter volumes.

Moskowitz raised his third-quarter earnings estimate for Apple to $1.23 a share from $1.12, and fiscal 2009 earnings estimate to $5.68 a share from $5.51.

Apple is scheduled to report third-quarter results on July 21. Analysts on average expect the company to post a profit $1.17 a share, excluding items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of Apple closed at $147.52 Thursday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Ramya Dilip in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)