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Apple's Mac, iPod sales see slight rebound in December

post #1 of 13
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Sales of Apple's Mac and iPod products bounced back last month following a disappointing November, helping the company's performance in those segments pull slightly ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimates for the December quarter.

Extrapolating data released by market research firm NPD on Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Mac sales appear to have risen 4 percent year-over-year during the month of December, a welcomed boost from November figures that saw sales growth dip briefly into negative figures.

With data for the past three months now in hand, Munster said he believes Apple sold anywhere from 2.45 million to 2.55 million Macs during the December quarter, which would represent yearly unit growth in the 6 to 10 percent range. He's banking on the midway point of 8 percent, which he notes is right in line with the expectations from investment bankers on Wall Street.

"We believe this data will be perceived as a slight positive given the rebound in the month of December to +4 percent year-over-year, up from -1 percent year-over-year in the month of November, which some investors were using as an assumption for December," the analyst wrote in a note to clients. "We expected growth rates for Mac to decline in the months of November and December; the December NPD data indicates Mac units in line with conservative Street expectations."

In terms of costs, the data from NPD indicates that Mac prices remained relatively flat quarter to quarter, which came as a surprise to Munster who had been modeling average selling prices (ASPs) of the system to shoot up some 12 percent following the introduction of premium-priced MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs during the month of October.

Meanwhile, a similar analysis of iPod sales data leads the analyst to estimate Apple will announce December quarter iPod sales of approximately 19 million to 20 million unit, noticeably ahead of Wall Street's expectations of 18.6 million units.

"This range implies year-over-year iPod unit growth of -14 percent to -10 percent versus*the Street at -16 percent year-over-year," he wrote. "Given concerns regarding iPod weakness, we*believe the segment's outperformance relative to Street expectations*is a positive."

NPD data suggests iPod ASPs continued on their year-long decline during the December quarter, falling some 12 percent. Munster, who did not specify an average sale price for the digital media players during the quarter, said he had been modeling for iPod ASPs to drop only one percent.

"The bottom line*is that it is difficult to predict iPod ASPs from NPD, but we continue to believe a slight quarter-over-quarter down tick is likely," he wrote. "Our unit approximation is based on various assumptions, one of which is NPD data; others include*international iPod demand and the availability of lower-priced iPods this year."

Munster maintained his Buy rating on shares of Cupertino-based Apple with a $235 price target. For the 2009 calendar year, he's expecting Mac sales to grow 10 percent while iPod sales decline some 20 percent.
post #2 of 13
Like the title says nice numbers but the projected share values are way off. I see Apple hitting $50 in the short term. The reality is that the price is to high for current market conditions. Further off there might be opportunity but that is the domain of the speculators.

Dave
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Like the title says nice numbers but the projected share values are way off. I see Apple hitting $50 in the short term. The reality is that the price is to high for current market conditions. Further off there might be opportunity but that is the domain of the speculators.

Whilst I don't agree with $235, I'm expecting a bounce in the whole market in the next week. I'd expect APPL to be around $90 by close of business on Friday.

Has anyone ever added the iPhone sales into the iPod equation? iPhone sales are definitely cannibalizing iPod sales, so the real question is - are music player (iPod + iPhone) sales falling overall?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Whilst I don't agree with $235, I'm expecting a bounce in the whole market in the next week. I'd expect APPL to be around $90 by close of business on Friday.

Has anyone ever added the iPhone sales into the iPod equation? iPhone sales are definitely cannibalizing iPod sales, so the real question is - are music player (iPod + iPhone) sales falling overall?

NPD doesn't track iPhone sales because the data is not as accessible. Apple participates in their retail surveys for Macs and iPods, but my understanding is that they don't offer their iPhone sales data in the same regard.

Best,

Kasper
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post #5 of 13
Nicely said, wizard69.

"Further off there might be opportunity but that is the domain of the speculators. " As far as the eye can see, AAPL's price will be in the hands of those who do not care a whit about the company, its products, or its earnings potential. If I weren't already in so deep, I'd get the hell out of the market forever. But . . . que sera.

But one more thing, wiz: Given that there is almost $30 per share IN CASH in this equity right now, do you REALLY believe that AAPL is worth only $20 per share? That's a little overboard, don't you think?
post #6 of 13
Sales up in December over November and that's news? Who's sales decline in December- the biggest shopping month of the year?
post #7 of 13
My concern is where Apple will be in the long term. Should we assume the worse for Jobs, will Apple even be relevant in 3 years without it's visionary leader?

Unfortunately, I'm pretty knee deep myself and committed for the long term. I just hope things turn for the better for Steve.
post #8 of 13
Like stated many times, Apple can function without Steve Jobs. Pipeline products are planned years in advanced. So even if Steve did leave the company for whatever reason, Apple would be set for a few years. It can focus its efforts on products after current pipeline developments.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Like stated many times, Apple can function without Steve Jobs. Pipeline products are planned years in advanced. So even if Steve did leave the company for whatever reason, Apple would be set for a few years. It can focus its efforts on products after current pipeline developments.

Few years is just that. It's the years after what's currently in the pipeline that I have a concern with.
Who knows, someone may emerge and surprise us with their vision.
post #10 of 13
In case anyone is interested:

http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com...evenue-stream/

This might turn out to be an interesting week to hold Apple stock..
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Sales up in December over November and that's news? Who's sales decline in December- the biggest shopping month of the year?

You are correct in that directly comparing November numbers to December numbers would have little value--but this is not what they said. They are talking about "year-over-year" numbers. This means that they are comparing this December to last December.

Quote:
sales appear to have risen 4 percent year-over-year during the month of December
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post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

You are correct in that directly comparing November numbers to December numbers would have little value--but this is not what they said. They are talking about "year-over-year" numbers. This means that they are comparing this December to last December.

What are you talking about? Please re-read the "Title" and the first 2 paragraphs!! The rebound is over November not December 2007. November is mentioned twice.


Quote:
Apple's Mac, iPod sales see slight rebound in December
Sales of Apple's Mac and iPod products bounced back last month following a disappointing November, helping the company's performance in those segments pull slightly ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimates for the December quarter.

Extrapolating data released by market research firm NPD on Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Mac sales appear to have risen 4 percent year-over-year during the month of December, a welcomed boost from November figures that saw sales growth dip briefly into negative figures.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

What are you talking about? Please re-read the "Title" and the first 2 paragraphs!! The rebound is over November not December 2007. November is mentioned twice.

Dude, you still dont get it. The article isn't saying that December's sales were higher than November's. (Of course they were, but that wasn't the point of the article.)

What it is saying is that November 08 was worse that November 07 but that December 08 was better than December 07. In analist speak, that translates to: "year over year growth in November was negative, but rebounded in December to positive growth."

Your post that I originally responded to implied that the article was saying that December's sales beat November's sales.
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