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Apple's January Mac sales grow 36%, on pace for 2.8M in quarter

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The latest NPD sales data shows Mac sales increased 36 percent year-over-year in the month of January, which could mean a strong 2.8 million sales for Apple in the first quarter of calendar 2010.

In a new note to investors Tuesday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster provided the latest NPD Group data for January, the first month of the company's March quarter. The 36 percent growth over 2009 implies a range of 2.6 million to 2.8 million Mac sales could be possible in the three month frame. Munster said Wall Street expects Apple to sell 2.6 million Macs.

Apple is expected to refresh its MacBook Pro notebooks this quarter, which could also offer a boost to sales in the next few months. Munster noted that just one month of Mac sales makes the quarter difficult to forecast.

"It is way too early to make a call on the quarter," he wrote.

If Apple sells 2.8 million Macs in the first quarter of 2010, it would represent a 26 percent increase over the start of 2009. A year ago, January Mac sales were down 6 percent from 2008.

While Mac sales struggled in the first half of 2009, Apple saw tremendous growth in the second half of the year. In the holiday quarter alone, Apple sold a record 3.36 million Macs, helping its profits grow more than 50 percent to $3.38 billion.

NPD data from January, Munster said, also shows iPod sales up 5 percent year over year. This led Piper Jaffray to forecast between 9 million and 10 million iPod sales for the March quarter, with Wall Street expecting Apple to sell about 9 million.

These figures would amount to a decrease of between 9 percent and 17 percent in sales from 2009 for the March quarter.

In addition, the NPD data shows the average selling price of Macs is down about 9 percent year over year, while iPod ASPs are up about 4 percent.

He also reiterated his belief that both Mac and iPod sales have favorable comparisons in the first half of 2010. Unlike the second half of 2009, when outstanding Mac sales jumped 18 percent, the first half of 2009 saw a year-over-year decline. That places Apple in a position to exceed expectations, Munster said.

Munster is particularly bullish on Apple stock and Mac sales for 2010. In January, he called it the "Year of the Mac," even with what proved to be a low forecast of 3.1 million Macs for the December quarter.

Piper Jaffray has maintained its "overweight" rating for AAPL stock, as well as a price target of $284.
post #2 of 11
Those one month sales estimates don't mean a whole hell of a lot.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #3 of 11
What I find interesting is that he does not provide any guidance for iPhone sales... These should be rather important for stock performance?!
post #4 of 11
Presumably because he's only responding to the data on January Mac sales from NPD, and he isn't even taking that as guidance for the quarter.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #5 of 11
It would actually be the fiscal 2nd quarter for Apple.

A drop of 500,000 from Q1 is quite a gap. I'd say with the momentum that Apple achieved despite the recession, netbooks, and Windows 7 that Q2 will see above 3 million Macs sold.

This momentum will mostly come from post holiday purchases, small to medium sized businesses, and consumer sales outside of the US.
post #6 of 11
I woild like to know what percentage of those people bought the macs to run windows on. I am thinking of doing just that when the updated macbooks come out( i like the hardware and tech support and not the os. Yes i have an old mdd runing 10.6 so im no troll)
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

It would actually be the fiscal 2nd quarter for Apple.

A drop of 500,000 from Q1 is quite a gap. I'd say with the momentum that Apple achieved despite the recession, netbooks, and Windows 7 that Q2 will see above 3 million Macs sold.

This momentum will mostly come from post holiday purchases, small to medium sized businesses, and consumer sales outside of the US.

Historically, the March quarter is pretty weak. 15-20% Sequential drop is pretty reasonable for Macs, but I hope for a small sequential beat in iPhones.

Do you have a specific reason for thinking small businesses will be buying Macs? We have a few Dells on their last leg from 2006, but going Mac on them would be too expensive to be practical, unless I could push my partners into 13" MBPs.
post #8 of 11
If Apple sells 3.0 million Macs in Q2 it would be time to pop the champaign corks.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

I woild like to know what percentage of those people bought the macs to run windows on. I am thinking of doing just that when the updated macbooks come out( i like the hardware and tech support and not the os. Yes i have an old mdd runing 10.6 so im no troll)

You may not be a troll but an MDD cannot run 10.6, only 10.5 unless you have made it an Intel Mac all of a sudden (in which case it is just an MDD shell...)
I doubt many did as you said - there cannot be many who would pay Apple premiums to run Win7 on it (most Mac buyers these days don't even know you can or would care if they did)
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

What I find interesting is that he does not provide any guidance for iPhone sales... These should be rather important for stock performance?!

It is not the responsibility of analysts to provide guidance for anything. It is the company's, e.g., in this case, Apple.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Historically, the March quarter is pretty weak. 15-20% Sequential drop is pretty reasonable for Macs, but I hope for a small sequential beat in iPhones.

Do you have a specific reason for thinking small businesses will be buying Macs? We have a few Dells on their last leg from 2006, but going Mac on them would be too expensive to be practical, unless I could push my partners into 13" MBPs.

It depends on what your business needs are. I've worked at many small companies and many had their own Exchange servers for email. That gets expensive on licensing especially when your company grows beyond the bounds of the Small Business Server package. For those that required internal management of email the Mac OSX Server is a cheaper alternative. For everyone else in small business ISP/web email is fine.

If you don't need a centralized server and can get away with a NAS for storage then Macbooks are great for dual booting Windows 7 and OSX.

It depends on many things. The best thing is the Mac experience and no malware to deal with.
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