Wall Street anticipating huge holiday quarter after Apple disappoints

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited January 2014
Though Apple fell short of market expectations with its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, analysts on Wall Street still have great expectations for the company during the 2012 holiday shopping season.

In what the market viewed as a rare miss, Apple reported sales of 26 million iPhones, 17 million iPads and 4 million Macs on Tuesday, resulting in a profit increase of just over 20 percent to $8.8 billion. Though the iPad sales represented a new all-time record, they were about in line with investor expectations, while iPhone and Mac sales fell short.

In reaction to Apple's third quarter of fiscal 2012, a number of analysts have lowered their price target for AAPL stock. Market watchers generally remain optimistic about Apple's near-term future, but await the anticipated launch of a next-generation iPhone and the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Morgan Stanley

The most accurate prediction ahead of Tuesday's earnings report, according to tracking from Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Apple 2.0, was Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, who was off by 1.6 percent on revenue and earnings per share and 3.8 percent on all categories, including product sales.

Huberty issued a note to investors after Tuesday's earnings call in which she said Apple's "near-term pain" will be "offset by long-term gain." She sees a base-case valuation of AAPL stock at $720, with a bull-case of $960.

Morgan Stanley


Huberty believes that investors should own AAPL ahead of the new iPhone product cycle. In past years, shares of AAPL have increased 30 percent on average and outperformed the S&P 500 by 27 percent in the three months leading up to iPhone product announcements.

"We expect similar strong performance ahead of iPhone 5 which we believe will feature LTE connectivity and a new form factor (thinner, new casing)," Huberty wrote. "While weaker than expected Jun/Sept (quarter) results are disappointing near-term, it potentially sets up for even stronger sequential results in the December quarter."

With the launch of a new iPhone expected to come about a year after the debut of the iPhone 4S, Huberty and other analysts are already overlooking Apple's current September quarter. But they also expect that Apple will have launched its next-generation iPhone before the company reports September quarter results in mid-to-late October, which should help offset any potential future disappointment.

Barclays

Analyst Ben A. Reitzes ranked third in Elmer-DeWitt's comparison, missing revenue and earnings per share by 6 percent, and all categories by 7 percent. Reitzes said in a note to investors that he believes the below-consensus results reported by Apple were a result of a "pause" in iPhone sales, as well as weaker-than-expected gross margins, at 42.8 percent.

He also noted that Apple has gone back to being "very conservative," and issued cautious guidance for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Apple has projected revenue of about $34 billion, which is below his estimate of $38.2 billion, as well as market consensus of $38 billion.

"Although we believe that investors were prepared for typically conservative guidance on the top line in Apple's range, Apple's (earnings per share) expectations seem to reflect lower-than-expected gross margins, which may raise some concerns," he said. "We believe the next big product cycle with the iPhone 5 will have a bigger impact in the December quarter."

He believes investors will be disappointed by Apple's results in the near-term, but he's already looking forward to the next iPhone launch.

"We still believe that Apple is perhaps the most disruptive company in tech and is poised to gain more share in smartphones, tablets and PCs, but we will be watching the developing situation closely," Reitzes said.

Analysts
Investor rankings calculated by Philip Elmer DeWitt of Apple 2.0.


ISI Group

Analyst Brian Marshall questioned whether Apple may be entering a cycle of "180 Days of Enlightenment" vs. "180 Days of Darkness." He ranked sixth on Elmer-DeWitt's calculations, and has reiterated a "buy" rating for AAPL stock, albeit with a price target reduced from $750 to $710.

Now, he believes Apple's business model could have two distinct patterns, in which half of the year the company seeks breakout growth, and the other half is not as strong.

"The 'flip-switch' of these two periods being the timing of the launch of the new iPhone model (e.g., we still expect the iPhone 5 in early October)," Marshall wrote.

When the next iPhone launches, Marshall now believes Apple will sell a total of 41 million units in the holiday quarter. That's down from his prior prediction of 51 million, a more cautious forecast due to anticipated adoption of in-cell touch panels, a macroeconomic slowdown in China, and a weak European economy cited by Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Tuesday.

ISI


J.P. Morgan

Analyst Mark Moskowitz, who was ranked 14th by Apple 2.0, said he expects shares of overweight-rate AAPL stock to "cool off" and potentially remain in a "holding pattern" until the launch of Apple's next-generation iPhone. He said Apple's earnings miss announced on Tuesday was driven by slowing iPhone sales ahead of a next-generation launch, higher mix of lower-margin iPad sales, and weak macroeconomic conditions in Europe, Australia, Brazil and Canada.

"We think that Apple's commentary on last night's call provided support for the stock's respective bull and bear camps," Moskowitz said. "In the near term, we think that the bear camp wins, likely pressuring shares of Apple. Unfortunately, as investors look beyond Apple, we think that the company's commentary supporting the bear camp could result in broader selling pressures in tech stocks and beyond."

Moskowitz lowered J.P. Morgan's price target on AAPL stock on June 28 to $695, the first time the firm had lowered a target for Apple since 2009. Moskowitz said on Wednesday that revision wasn't low enough, and reduced his price target once again to $675.

"While lowering our estimates and price target again, we think that our long-term thesis on Apple remains intact," he said. "We are concerned that the ride could be bumpy in the near term, though, particularly given lingering macro risks and questions related to the (average selling price) trends."

JP Morgan


Piper Jaffray

Analyst Gene Munster expects that investor concern about the September quarter will ease as the launch of Apple's next-generation iPhone draws closer. Munster came in 16th in Elmer-DeWitt's breakdown of analyst forecasts for Apple's quarter.

"While the concern is legitimate, we believe it is largely irrelevant because iPhone will rebound in the (December '12) quarter as it has in the past," Munster wrote. "Importantly, (September '12) will likely be reported after the iPhone 5 release which should more than outweigh the September iPhone number."

PJC


Munster has adjusted his expectations to account for Apple's September quarter guidance, and also for a longer-term shift from the Mac to the iPad. He now believes the longer term Mac growth rate will be around 10 percent, as iPads take some sales to Macs.

He also does not believe that Apple's guidance hints at a launch of the next-generation iPhone in September. He continues to believe that Apple's next iPhone will debut in October, about one year after the launch of the iPhone 4S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!
  • Reply 2 of 45
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 612member


    The title should be re-worded to "Apple disappoints clueless investor pundits while making huge profits"  

  • Reply 3 of 45
    nealgnealg Posts: 132member


    Part of the problem is that Apple has gotten very big very fast and people are expecting them to be able to blow out earnings and revenues every quarter despite the issues with product transitions, especially around the iPhone transition. A high percentage of growth is more difficult as the larger the numbers get.


     


    For example. They grew iPhone sales by only 30% yoy. I add only in there because everybody was expecting more, like what happened with expectations from Apple's 4th quarter last year. The base that iPhone sales were growing on were 20 million for the same quarter last year. Apple sold 6 million more phones in the same quarter this year. That is a big increase. But on a base of 20 million, it isn't as high a percentage. I am sure both Nokia and Samsung would be very happy if their smartphone sales grew at 30% during a quarter that is partly affected by product transitions. Or that they sold 6 million more smartphones during one quarter over the previous years quarter.


     


    Apple is a victim of its own success. I see people predicting gloom and doom when what I saw was a pretty good earning report that just wasn't up to Apple's previous level of success. Maybe now, investors will look at Apple and adjust the discount that Apple has been trading at with regards to its earnings and growth. Short term, I think we will see a significant drop. How deep and for how long it will be interesting to see.


     


    On the other hand, maybe the dividend is the sign that execs don't think Apple will grow as fast anymore. Cook said that the dividend is related to having more than enough cash on hand to do what they want to do. Being realistic, it was a thought that entered my mind. Right now, though, I am standing pat and waiting to see what Apple will do with the next iPhone and how well it will sell. This quarters results may just be a tempest in a teapot but maybe not. The dividend as well as Apple's growth prospects still seem pretty decent to me so I will hang around and stand pat with my position in Apple.


     


    JMO though. Reasonable people can disagree.


     


    Good luck out there.

  • Reply 4 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    hittrj01 wrote: »
    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!
    It's all about expectations. That's why they better have some big shit coming out in the 4th quarter. Don't think the new iPhone is enough.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    tribalogicaltribalogical Posts: 1,181member


    It only "disappoints" relative to overblown expectations. If you were simply following Apple's original guidance, they beat "expectations" handily… 20% growth year on year… almost $9 billion in earnings, a blowout by any measure. Any other company would be getting a fanfare and a 10% lift on their stock value...


     


    The analyst perp squad will no doubt be adjusting Apple's guidance upward again, and ending up disappointed again, further depressing the stock's P/E. Two things we can apparently count on very consistently: Apple doing great and the analysts saying what a disappointment that is...

  • Reply 6 of 45
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,739member
    Reply to rogifan:

    That's ridiculous.

    the iPhone alone generates more revenue than all of Microsoft's products combined.

    There are simply too many retards around, and these clueless people have unrealistic expectations. As these expectations get higher and higher, they are bound to disappoint those who expect the impossible.

    Look around, the economy is in the shitter, quite a few lazy euro countries are in deep crap, and it doesn't look like the situaution is going to improve anytime soon.

    Everybody with a brain knows that most of Apple's products are on a yearly product cycle, and it is around the big product launches that they are going to move most units, such as when the new iphone gets released.

    I wrote this on an ipad, so if there are any grammatical or spelling errors, then too bad.....
  • Reply 7 of 45
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post



    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!


    microsoft has been doing that kind of growth for the last 12 years, look at their stock

  • Reply 8 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    It only "disappoints" relative to overblown expectations. If you were simply following Apple's original guidance, they beat "expectations" handily… 20% growth year on year… almost $9 billion in earnings, a blowout by any measure. Any other company would be getting a fanfare and a 10% lift on their stock value...

    The analyst perp squad will no doubt be adjusting Apple's guidance upward again, and ending up disappointed again, further depressing the stock's P/E. Two things we can apparently count on very consistently: Apple doing great and the analysts saying what a disappointment that is...
    Well Apple's guidance is usually quite low, often referred to as sandbagging. But I do think all these crazy analyst predictions along with the perpetual rumor mill make it tougher and tougher to beat expectations. If they've got a a bunch of stuff for the latter half of the year I hope they spread it out between Q3 and Q4. iPhone is most likely Q4, so maybe iMac and iPod updates in Q3?

    On CNBC this morning they were laughing saying yeah it's a huge miss but just about any company would love to have Apple's numbers. Especially the mind blowing $117B in cash which no other company has ever accumulated.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,675member


    Any  analysis on that list which is above the top 10 should be fired by their company, many if I could not tell my company within 10% of the the actually number for any giving quarter I would be fired. Everyone outside the top 10 the one which cause the stock to widely gyrate.


     


    I always suspected and still believe these analysis do this on purpose so the stock bounces all over the place. This way they can make money on the ups and downs. The SEC should really look into these people either they are that stupid and should be fired or they are that smart and they are manipulating the markets in that case they should be arrested, end result no longer making wild prediction.

  • Reply 10 of 45
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 457member


    Yep - the bozos at the street have been continually either expecting much less from Apple or expecting too much.  It's their game, used to control their own profit and has very little basis in reality (other than investment reality).


     


    At some point, and maybe we've already gotten there, Apple will have enough shareholders who actually understand what Apple has and is doing to not allow the analysts to effect their buy/sell strategy with Apple.  If any analysts or investment institutions took long-term views on business overall, let alone with regard to Apple, these quarterly calls wouldn't matter as much.  But I do understand that it's done because some companies have short-term issues with long-term negative implications (think RIM, Sony, Nokia, MS).

  • Reply 11 of 45
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/151503/wall-street-anticipating-huge-holiday-quarter-after-apple-disappoints#post_2153503"]Reply to rogifan:
    That's ridiculous.
    the iPhone alone generates more revenue than all of Microsoft's products combined.
    There are simply too many retards around, and these clueless people have unrealistic expectations. As these expectations get higher and higher, they are bound to disappoint those who expect the impossible.
    Look around, the economy is in the shitter, quite a few lazy euro countries are in deep crap, and it doesn't look like the situaution is going to improve anytime soon.
    Everybody with a brain knows that most of Apple's products are on a yearly product cycle, and it is around the big product launches that they are going to move most units, such as when the new iphone gets released.
    I wrote this on an ipad, so if there are any grammatical or spelling errors, then too bad.....
    Of you think the new iPhone is enough for the next 5 quarters then I don't know what to say. You've got rumors out there of revamped iPods, iPad mini, retina iMacs. Heck there are even rumors of a 13" rMBP. If all we get for the rest of this year is a new iPhone that will be a disappointment. Especially with Tim Cook once again talking about all the great products in the pipeline. At some point we need to see them...
  • Reply 12 of 45
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,745member


    If Apple "disappoints" - especially in light of the some of the ridiculous expectations they have been able to fulfill and go beyond thus far - imagine how we should feel about Apple's competition?  *shudders*

  • Reply 13 of 45
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post



    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!


    Well, stock prices are based on expectations; right now Apple's stock price (even after the big drop the other day) reflects expectations that from 2013-2016 Apple will grow at a similar rate to the Chinese Economy from 2005-2008. Of course, it seems people forget that a lot of Apple's investors are also Apple "fans" which further skews the stock price upward. and in turn creates the even greater need for Apple to meet unrealistic goals...

  • Reply 14 of 45
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,411member
    superbass wrote: »
    Well, stock prices are based on expectations; right now Apple's stock price (even after the big drop the other day) reflects expectations that from 2013-2016 Apple will grow at a similar rate to the Chinese Economy from 2005-2008. Of course, it seems people forget that a lot of Apple's investors are also Apple "fans" which further skews the stock price upward. and in turn creates the even greater need for Apple to meet unrealistic goals...

    Oh wow. Thanks fr the insight.

    /s
  • Reply 15 of 45
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post



    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!


     


    Yep. They didn't meet the numbers that the analysts pulled out of their butts. But the same analysts will never admit they are clueless about Apple, make up stuff and get it wrong. So they say that Apple didn't meet 'forecast' (theirs, Apple probably killed their own), etc. 


     


    Just like when they predict some new redesign etc that doesn't happen they find a source to say there was a supply issue on a vital part and it was 'delayed'


     


    And now the stock goes down and folks buy in a little cheaper only to have to go up after the 'amazing' holiday that will beat all predictions as they always do particularly since the same analysts will lower their expectations after this 'disappointing' quarter. 


     


    And do si do, swing your lady 'round once more

  • Reply 16 of 45
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    al_bundy wrote: »
    microsoft has been doing that kind of growth for the last 12 years, look at their stock

    Really?

    Apple's annual revenue growth has averaged over 50% per year for the past decade. Microsoft has averaged about 4% per year. When you consider the value of compounding, that difference is HUGE.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,255member


    I believe they'll have an outstanding Holiday quarter. The new iPhone is almost certain to sport a larger display, making it the most instantaneously recognizable iPhone change since it's introduction. That by itself will attract even a good percentage of recent iPhone4S buyers to upgrade. There's also way to much smoke rising from news of a smaller iPad for it not to happen IMO. A cheaper Apple tablet would get a lot of gifting. Throw those two new products into the Holiday sales and I don't think 40M iPhones and 10M mini-iPads would be out of reason.


     


    So I expect incredible numbers from Apple.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm surprised that the institutional analysts are so accurate. it's night and day on that chart. If you're reading this, Philip Elmer DeWitt, thanks for the research.

    hittrj01 wrote: »
    So Apple makes nearly $9 billion in revenue in a historically slow quarter, AND shows a 20% YoY growth, yet they still disappoint? Sounds about right. Apple is DOOMED!!!

    It is all pretty ridiculous.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I believe they'll have an outstanding Holiday quarter. The new iPhone is almost certain to sport a larger display, making it the most instantaneously recognizable iPhone change since it's introduction. That by itself will attract even a good percentage of recent iPhone4S buyers to upgrade. There's also way to much smoke rising from news of a smaller iPad for it not to happen IMO. A cheaper Apple tablet would get a lot of gifting. Throw those two new products into the Holiday sales and I don't think 40M iPhones and 10M mini-iPads would be out of reason.

    So I expect incredible numbers from Apple.

    I agree with everything you said... which means I need to go check myself into a psych ward. ????
  • Reply 20 of 45
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Really?

    Apple's annual revenue growth has averaged over 50% per year for the past decade. Microsoft has averaged about 4% per year. When you consider the value of compounding, that difference is HUGE.


    MS growth was in the 1990's and peaked in 2000. Apple is probably where MS was in 2000. growth is slowing which is why the PE has been so low for the last year or so.


     


    all the professional investors knew it which is why all the analyst reports and CNBC has been so bullish on apple stock


     


    law of large numbers. almost everyone who wants an iphone or smart phone in general has one. the people that don't have one generally don't care for one or can't afford it


     


    cell phone bills are becoming as hated as cable bills and people are looking at prepaid.

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