Sell-side analysts are taking a fresh look at its estimates for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ahead of the upcoming announcement of financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended June. And the pundits like what they see.
- BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman Tuesday morning asserted in a research note that Apple should be able to maintain gross margin in the 34%-35% in the September quarter despite recent price cuts, thanks in part to a richer mix of iPhones. He thinks the company will guide lower, likely in the 32% range, reflecting its typical caution; and he expects EPS guidance as usual to come in below the consensus. He figures they will forecast $1.05 to $1.15, below the Street at $1.28. That said, Bachman today lifted his EPS estimates for FY 2010 to $6.10 from $6 on a GAAP basis, and to $7 from $6.75 on a non-GAAP basis. His new target is $152, up from $150.
- Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross Tuesday lifted her EPS estimate for the September 2009 fiscal year to $5.63, from $5.46; for FY 2010 she goes to $6.13, from $5.73. For the June quarter, she sees sales of 2.5 million Macs, 4.9 million iPhones and 10.8 million iPods. Cross sees sales in the quarter of 1.4 million Mac notebooks, down 4%, less than an estimated 8% for notebooks overall, with desktops down 4%, versus an estimated 14% drop for the overall PC desktop sector. For the June quarter, she now forecasts $8.4 billion and $1.20 a share, up from $8.24 billion and $1.16.
- Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster Tuesday writes that he is “increasingly confident” in his June quarter forecast of 2.2 million Macs and 5 million iPhones. He reports that there is a 7-10 day lead time for the new lower-priced 13-inch MacBook Pros on the company’s online store, the longest wait in over two years.
- Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes Tuesday repeated his Overweight rating and $173 price target on the stock. He notes that Apple retail store availability for the 16 GB version of the iPhone 3GS remains low; he also noted that MacBook Pro lead times lengthened this week, and that “demand for these models is quite strong.”
Apple will report June quarter results on July 21.
AAPL Tuesday is off $2.10, or 1.5%, to $136.51.