Wall Street expects Apple to report best quarter ever, but all eyes will be on March guida...

Posted:
in AAPL Investors
Recent reports on iPhone X demand and alleged production cuts have caused concern on Wall Street, where investors eagerly await Apple's March quarter guidance from its latest earnings report. AppleInsider gives you a rundown of what to expect.




General market consensus for the just-concluded December quarter calls for Apple to have sold 79 million iPhones in the three-month frame. That would best the 78.3 million iPhones Apple sold in the same period a year ago, representing holiday 2016.

According to UBS, the market expects an iPhone average selling price of $752, with 27 million iPhone X units sold. Apple doesn't break down sales by model, but it is likely to give commentary on how the iPhone X is performing with respect to current and past models.

For the iPad, Wall Street sees sales of 14 million with an average selling price of $441. Consensus also calls for services revenue of $8.65 billion.

In contrast, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich is a little higher, forecasting sales of 80.2 million iPhones (at a $763 ASP), with 32 million of those the iPhone X. He also calls for iPad sales of 14.1 million at a $431 ASP, and services revenue of $8.9 billion.

Looking forward to the March quarter, Wall Street consensus was at 62 million iPhone sales, but those numbers have been slipping in the wake of speculative reports saying sales are slowing more than Apple expected.




Milunovich is more cautious heading into the March quarter, forecasting iPhone sales of 58.4 million. Either number would be well beyond Apple's March 2017 quarter, however, when iPhone sales fell to 50.8 million, itself down from 5.12 million in 2016.

Apple's best-ever March quarter for iPhone sales came in 2015, when the company sold a blockbuster 61 million handsets, riding high on the iPhone 6 "super cycle."

With the March quarter already one-third complete, it's not expected that any major new product launches are coming before the end of the period. Apple's HomePod will begin shipping next Friday, but it is not expected to be a revenue driver in the way new iPhones, iPads or Macs are.

It's possible that Apple ships new MacBook Pros, or even a second-generation iPhone SE, before the end of March. But it's also likely that those upgrades wait until the June quarter.

Apple will give the results of its December quarter, and provide guidance for March, after markets close later today. A conference call with analysts and members of the media will follow at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern, and AppleInsider will have full coverage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
    edited February 2018 king editor the gratepreclarotiposteven n.patchythepiratejony0
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Beware the Ides of Smarch.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Yeah, guesses regarding the current quarter are much more important than the facts and hard numbers about the completed quarter (I mean, who really cares about one more blowout holiday season and all that crazy money?), and when we have the truth about the current quarter, nobody will care about that either. Maybe we should skip worrying about the current quarter now, and jump ahead to worrying about the next one, if we want to focus on what really matters. Or better yet, how about those supply constraints ruining the launch of iPhone XI? 

    (/s)
    edited February 2018 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.


     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    StrangeDaysmark fearingcornchipwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 32
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,226member
    I don'y know what to think. On one hand, when has Apple's guidance ever been wrong? And Apple is repatriating $350B in the new tax law. OTOH, they missed the holiday season with a new product, batterygate is in full swing, software updates seem to have no QC, whole product lines have been dropped (airports and monitors,) the dollar continues to plummet, and who knows if a trade war with china is about to break out.

    I guess Tim and Luca will reveal all soon. 
  • Reply 6 of 32
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
    Everything fine except blaming Cook and friends. How do you rationalize this? Contrary to your claim, Cook has tried to teach Wall Street, has already told people they don't manage to the stock price, and not to listen to supply chain guessers or parts-pricing guessers. He has said this specifically. Meanwhile, they continue batting hits out of the park, raking in the money people are throwing at them, quarter after quarter. What more do you expect them to do?
    edited February 2018 tmayking editor the gratemike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
    Everything fine except blaming Cook and friends. How do you rationalize this? Contrary to your claim, Cook has tried to teach Wall Street, has already told people they don't manage to the stock price, and not to listen to supply chain guessers or parts-pricing guessers. He has said this specifically. Meanwhile, they continue batting hits out of the park, raking in the money people are throwing at them, quarter after quarter. What more do you expect them to do?
    This isn’t about Apple managing to a stock price. Why aren’t Amazon, Google, Facebook and even Microsoft perpetually doomed the way Apple is? Why is Apple always one quarter or product launch away from disaster but none of their peers are? To suggest there’s nothing Cook and Apple leadership can do about this is nonsense.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Rayz2016 said:
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.


     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    Yeah, it's cray weird. I know when Jobs was in charge Apple never got on well with Wall Street as he didn't give a shit and was never in a position where that mattered. He didn't work with the investment banks often enough to keep them fat and happy with APple's success. Now I think it's semi political - why else would Wall Street hostel to a company that has been for many years now a profit machine. Beyond any other. They need to employee more upper management who don't do anything to match the rest of American business.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Yeah, guesses regarding the current quarter are much more important than the facts and hard numbers about the completed quarter (I mean, who really cares about one more blowout holiday season and all that crazy money?), and when we have the truth about the current quarter, nobody will care about that either. Maybe we should skip worrying about the current quarter now, and jump ahead to worrying about the next one, if we want to focus on what really matters. Or better yet, how about those supply constraints ruining the launch of iPhone XI? 

    (/s)
    Yep, that's the way the stock market works.  Long-term value is all about future cash flow.  What has happened in the past can provide information to estimate future results, but once the current period is over all that matters is what assets have been purchased with the profit and how they will be used to generate more profit going forward.  The anticipated results of the December 31 quarter are already incorporated into the current stock price and are irrelevant unless there is a major deviation from the estimates.

    Someone like Warren Buffet will look at the anticipated cash flows over a decade or more in determining value.  He's making estimates 40 quarters or more into the future.

    The stock price, and therefore the interest from analysts and investors, will be driven by expectations.  So yes, we should be thinking about things like potential supply constraints that might affect the launch of the anticipated iPhone X Plus or how the rumored LCD based phones could cannibalize future X sales, or even whether Android will ever improve enough to be a serious alternative to iOS.  Besides, where's the fun in discussing facts?  Opinions generate much more animated conversations as long as they don't degenerate into personal attacks.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 567member
    Apple stock is too easy to dissect by analysts once they report compared to other large tech companies who move numbers around, ie: MSFT, Amazon....it's too much of a tangled web for analyst and hedge fund managers to really understand if the numbers are good or not...it's all financial engineering....
    Apple is the most basic stock....it's like we are are a bakery, "How many pies did u sell last month?" oh, 4 less than we though? stock tanks 8%

    Amazon, MSFT, GOOG are like trying to untangle a ball of yarn...
    edited February 2018 jony0
  • Reply 11 of 32
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 567member
    hopefully that weak dollar will be a tailwind
  • Reply 12 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,468member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    Maybe not as wide scale, but that's because of Apple's mindshare more than anything else. This forum, for instance, has members that have been saying that pretty much every (if not every) Apple competitor will be shuttering its doors in some ridiculously short duration. The number of times I've read on this forum by regulars that Microsoft will fold within some 6 to 12 month timeframe is wierdly high, despite them being able to cost for years, if not decades, even if they don't make another sale starting right this moment.
    edited February 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Rayz2016 said:

     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    Welcome to the top of the heap.

    Never forget that Apple's fortunes were once very different than they are today and nothing lasts forever.  How many companies have been in Apple's position only to find themselves remembering what it was like to be the recipient of scrutiny reserved exclusively for that ticket symbol at the top of the heap. 

    All Apple can do is to do what they do.  Past that, there will always be somebody ready to eat their lunch and will get it done, eventually.  Will it matter to the average Apple customer?  Not unless it begins to affect quality.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,200member
    Apple's new strategy of a bigger product offering and a broader range of prices will very probably help them break the cycle of users waiting for a September/October reveal, evaluating the new product, then deciding what to do.

    Now, users can opt for older phones, choose from a better iPhone selection and not be 'held to ransom' by the release cycle. Those people struggling with their current phones can upgrade when they choose, safe in the knowledge that they can probably find the phone for their needs, and within their budget, at any time.

    Those aiming high will still wait for year end to pick up the latest and most expensive options, or  the revised pricing on the previous top priced models but the rest (the ones who will never be in that group or who were but have ceased to see the justification for buying a premium phone) will just buy when they need. 

    Of course, in theory at least, this will give Apple more presence in developing markets and a more competitive presence at that.

    If they wanted to go a step further, they could also move to a two flagship rollout model. The traditional rollout plus another at a different time of the year. That would really intensify competition. Currently, Apple puts all its cards on the table at one presentation and that's all there is for the full year.

    I think this model will change at some point as it plays into the hands of competitors. Visually, the 8 series already looks dated for example and they will only have one bezeless model for almost the entire year. 

    For these results, they didn't provide any warnings so the final numbers shouldn't really include any nasty surprises.

    Tim Cook will say he's 'delighted, thrilled, overwhelmed' with iPhone X performance but probably stop short of giving any model specific numbers.




  • Reply 15 of 32
    thedbathedba Posts: 470member
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    Maybe not as wide scale, but that's because of Apple's mindshare more than anything else. This forum, for instance, has members that have been saying that pretty much every (if not every) Apple competitor will be shuttering its doors in some ridiculously short duration. The number of times I've read on this forum by regulars that Microsoft will fold within some 6 to 12 month timeframe is very high, despite them being able to cost for years, if not decades, even if they don't make another sale starting right this moment.
    Now you’re making stuff up. Please point us to the numerous postings that said Microsoft will fold. 
    Three or four examples will suffice. 
    king editor the grateStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 32
    thedbathedba Posts: 470member
    This whole narrative is like interviewing Roger Federer after Australian Open 2018 like this:

    OK Roger, so you won another record breaking grand slam title. Big deal! What are you going to next, CHUMP?
  • Reply 17 of 32
    NY1822 said:
    Apple stock is too easy to dissect by analysts once they report compared to other large tech companies who move numbers around, ie: MSFT, Amazon....it's too much of a tangled web for analyst and hedge fund managers to really understand if the numbers are good or not...it's all financial engineering....
    Apple is the most basic stock....it's like we are are a bakery, "How many pies did u sell last month?" oh, 4 less than we though? stock tanks 8%

    Amazon, MSFT, GOOG are like trying to untangle a ball of yarn...
    What’s complicated about ad businesses or how much did Asure revenues jump?
  • Reply 18 of 32
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,499member
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
    Everything fine except blaming Cook and friends. How do you rationalize this? Contrary to your claim, Cook has tried to teach Wall Street, has already told people they don't manage to the stock price, and not to listen to supply chain guessers or parts-pricing guessers. He has said this specifically. Meanwhile, they continue batting hits out of the park, raking in the money people are throwing at them, quarter after quarter. What more do you expect them to do?
    This isn’t about Apple managing to a stock price. Why aren’t Amazon, Google, Facebook and even Microsoft perpetually doomed the way Apple is? Why is Apple always one quarter or product launch away from disaster but none of their peers are? To suggest there’s nothing Cook and Apple leadership can do about this is nonsense.
    Microsoft aside, the other 3 companies are associated with the rise of the Internet / online advertising / cloud computing / AI (and more buzzwords to come), with unlimited upside potential (despite that not thought surviving careful analysis).  Apple is thought as a product maker that is only as good as the next product, or updated version of a product - and barely more than random chance that a current Apple product user will buy again.

    I haven't heard amazing strategy out of Amazon, Facebook or Google - not of the kind you are claiming Apple is lacking (a detailed but visionary 10-year roadmap of what the company is going to do).

    Why is Uber valued (privately) at something like $70B when it continues to lose increasing amounts of money each year?  Unlimited potential of disruption by an Internet based company.  Will it ever make enough earnings to justify such a valuation - probably not based on current trends.  But that is reality of how some companies are valued.  I will take Apple's track record of success, growth, and approach to business any day.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 32
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,468member
    thedba said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Of course. And if March was predicted to be a record quarter then all eyes (read: pessimism) would be on June. Every time Apple has a good quarter and the stock does nothing people say it’s not about the past but the future. Because with Apple the future can never be as good or better than the past. Wall Street is constantly assuming doom is around the quarter. And Apple leadership have done squat to change that narrative. All the stock buybacks in the world and Apple’s PE is still pathetic and the stock way more volatile compared to its tech peers. One sketchy supply chain rumor from Asia and the stock drops 2%. Disgusting. And a perfect example is Facebook. They admitted engagement is down because of the changes they made to the newsfeed yet the stock is up 4% today. If that was Apple the stock would be tanking today.
     I don’t think there is any other tech company that is assessed in this “constant hunt for bad news” kind of a way. 
    Maybe not as wide scale, but that's because of Apple's mindshare more than anything else. This forum, for instance, has members that have been saying that pretty much every (if not every) Apple competitor will be shuttering its doors in some ridiculously short duration. The number of times I've read on this forum by regulars that Microsoft will fold within some 6 to 12 month timeframe is very high, despite them being able to cost for years, if not decades, even if they don't make another sale starting right this moment.
    Now you’re making stuff up. Please point us to the numerous postings that said Microsoft will fold. 
    Three or four examples will suffice. 
    I've had the conversations with my regulars who have made that claim more than a few times. It likely corresponds to DED editorials about some MS failings and/or has to do with Post-PC. I'm not going to search for over a decade worth of AI forum posts to search for a few lines of text—while numerous—are still needles in an exceedingly large haystack out of millions upon millions of sentences because you don't believe someone could make a sweeping claims… just like you saying that I'm "making stuff up," instead of a more reasoned response like, "I think you're memory may be wrong."
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 20 of 32
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,499member
    Despite all the belly-aching here, Apple's stock price has actually gone up reasonably well over the last 12 months.
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