Analysts at First Albany and Bear Stearns raised their rating on Apple after the company beat Wall Street expectations for its third quarter, thanks to strong iPod and notebook sales. First Albany lifted its rating to “buy” from “neutral,” set a price target of US$35, and said it believes the results warrant a boost in its financial estimates for 2005. “We have greater confidence in Apple’s ability to sustain revenue growth and capitalize on operating leverage in its model,” the firm said. “Potential drivers include: products (Airport Express, HPod, iPod mini, new iMac), geographies (international), and channels (Office Depot, new Apple stores).” Bear Stearns raised its rating to “outperform” from “peer perform,” saying the move reflects more consistent growth and execution on Apple’s part. It set a price target of $36.50.