Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities issued the latest update for his "Apple Barometer" to investors on Thursday. The barometer tracks trends in Apple's Taiwan supply chain, representing a broad group of suppliers with a high concentration of sales generated from Apple.
The latest numbers for the month of May show Apple tracking up 87 percent year-over-year. While the number is particularly strong, it is less than the 100 percent year over year increase the barometer found for the month of April.
The estimate shows Apple's sales for May up 10 percent month-over-month, a number well above the average 2.2 percent month-over-month increase the company has traditionally seen over the last six years.
"Although we are cognizant that share shifts occur in the Apple supply chain, inventory adjustments occur and builds occur ahead of demand, we believe the overall direction versus historical performance provides us with further confidence in strong trends at Apple," White wrote.
White's barometer shows Apple on track to post better-than-average sequential growth in the second quarter of 2011. In fact, if Apple delivers just its average performance in June of a 0.8 percent increase month over month, he estimates sales will rise by 18 percent quarter-over-quarter, above the six-year average June quarter increase of 15 percent.
"Keep in mind that Apple's outlook for the June quarter called for a sequential sales decline of 7%, much weaker than the eight-year average increase of 5%," he wrote. "By comparison, we are estimating a 1.8% sequential sales uptick for Apple in the June quarter."
Apple's third quarter of the company's fiscal 2011 ends this month. The iPhone maker will report its earnings from the current quarter in July. In the same frame last year, Apple saw a 77 percent year-over-year increase in profits, driven by then-record sales of 3.47 million Macs.
Earlier this month, White reported that Apple is expected to have strong sales of the iPhone 4 in June, despite the fact that Apple did not introduce a new model at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference. He said sources in the overseas supply chain have indicated that the release of the white iPhone 4 has helped Apple keep on pace to break even with iPhone sales from the previous quarter.