While the market seemed largely unmoved by Apple’s announcement yesterday of a record year (and guidance suggesting that more records will be set), that’s because analysts had already predicted the numbers.
Most pointed to Q1 guidance that was on a par with the more optimistic predictions, and better than most. Analysts were also reassured that the company was maintaining strong growth in China despite the difficult economy there, and despite a big hit taken in overseas earnings due to the strong dollar.
Other reasons for optimism were increased average selling prices, likely sales growth driven by the new iPhone Upgrade Program, encouraging numbers for Android switchers and the increasing value of the Apple ecosystem as a whole.
The two exceptions were Deutsche Bank and Mizuho, which both rated the stock a hold. Deutsche Bank argued that gross margins will come under pressure into the new financial year, and there are limited catalysts for future growth as yet, while Mizuho said that it would be hard for Apple to beat its own records for the next couple of quarters.