Apple (AAPL) is expected to report Q3 earnings after the market close on Tuesday, July 24, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET.
The consensus estimate is $10.36 for EPS and $37.18B for revenue, according to First Call. Apple has a history of posting better-than-expected results, which is why the tempered view on Wall Street comes as a bit of a surprise to some. Analysts say consumers may be holding back on purchasing iPhones now in order to wait for the next product upgrade, which appears to be coming by the end of the year. Apple guided Q3 EPS to "about" $8.68 on revenue of "about" $34B. The company sees Q3 gross margins falling to 41.5%. Apple expects about two-thirds of the sequential decline to be primarily driven by a higher mix of iPads and Macs, a full quarter of selling the current ipad lineup, and a loss of leverage on the sequentially lower revenue.
Goldman Sachs believes the iPhone 5 will be launched on time for the all-important December quarter, and the firm continues to believe the typical pre-launch pause in demand will depress legacy iPhone sales before then. Goldman expects Q3 revenues of $35.54B and EPS of $9.98. The firm believes buy-side expectations for iPhone units are already very conservative for Q3 at 26M-27M units -- relative to its 28M unit estimate. The firm's conservatism on legacy iPhone sales extends into the September quarter but is followed by an above-consensus December quarter as iPhone 5 shipments ramp. Beyond the near term, for FY13 and FY14, Goldman recently raised their estimates due to their increasing optimism on iPhone and iPad demand trends and Apple's competitive momentum.