Wall Street Stories May 3, 2016

AAPL: 95.18

1.54

Tim Cook’s interview on CNBC last night highlighted the huge gulf between his optimistic view of Apple’s future prospects, and the pessimistic one being expressed in both Wall Street commentary and the share price.

The share price speaks for itself. As Business Insider notes, the stock has dropped 11% since Apple announced its first-quarter earnings, and 27% over the past year. Even billionaire investor Carl Icahn – who once couldn’t stop talking about how under-valued AAPL was – sold 7M shares back in February and has now dumped the stock altogether. Not the greatest expression of confidence in the company’s future.

Analysts have been queuing up to pronounce that Apple is doomed, the iPhone is on a slide, it’s all over. Tim Cook, meanwhile, claims that Wall Street is guilty of ‘hugely over-reacting’ to a short-term glitch …

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Wall Street Stories January 8, 2016

AAPL: 96.96

0.51

Analysts pile the pressure on AAPL saying company over-optimistic or “deliberately overstating” position

As if Apple’s management wasn’t under enough pressure from the stock falling below $100 yesterday, two firms of analysts have said that the company was either over-optimistic in its iPhone sales expectations or has even been guilty of “deliberately overstating underlying trends.”

Business Insider quotes excerpts from investor notes from Pacific Crest and UBS, each suggesting that Apple has over-estimated iPhone demand. Both point to apparent contradictions between Apple’s predictions of continued growth and supply-chain reports of reduced orders.

UBS says that it believes Apple has been taken by surprise with the relatively low numbers of people upgrading from older iPhones.

We think the most likely reason for a shortfall is that the upgrader portion of unit demand has stalled significantly in recent months and is failing to meet Apple’s own expectations.

The note from Pacific Crest goes much further.

Management’s confidence now looks highly likely to be misplaced, which suggests that it was either ignorant of the challenges it faced or deliberately overstating underlying trends. The former seems unlikely, which suggests that management has taken a much more aggressive tone as growth in the high-end smartphone market has slowed. This reduces our confidence in Apple’s commentary going forward.

Business Insider notes that the Wall Street consensus is for significant year-on-year fall in the current quarter, ranging from Stifel, Aaron Rakers and team forecasting an 8% drop in sales through to Pacific Crest at 18%. Even noted Apple bull Katy Huberty at Morgan Stanley is predicting a 15% fall this quarter.

As we noted earlier, Apple’s guidance for the current quarter will be issued when it reports its holiday quarter numbers on January 26th.

Photo: wallpapersfine.com

Wall Street Stories January 26, 2015

Fortune has done its usual analyst poll ahead of Apple announcing its Q1 earnings tomorrow, and Wall Street is expecting the company to significantly out-perform its earnings guidance of $63.5 to $66.5B.

The consensus among the analysts Fortune polled — 20 professionals and 15 amateurs — is that Apple’s total sales for fiscal Q1 2015 will come in at about $68.3 billion, up 21% year over year.

That would be $1.8B above the upper end of the expectations Apple set back in October …  expand full story

Wall Street Stories November 20, 2014

Morgan Stanley is predicting in an investor note that around 10% of those who own an iPhone 5 or later will buy an Apple Watch, generating first year sales of around 30M – right at the top end of the 10-30M range suggested by other analysts.

While predicting likely sales of a new product category is always a rather shaky undertaking, and sales of competitor smartwatches may not prove a reliable guide, Morgan Stanley thinks there is one clue to how well the Apple Watch might sell: the precedent set by the iPad …  expand full story

Wall Street Stories October 13, 2014

Not much is known about Apple’s deals with its suppliers, but court filings by former sapphire supplier GT Advanced reveal that the contract included a $50M penalty for any leak of Apple product information, reports the Financial Times.

While the amount of the penalty clause may vary according to the size of the supplier, it seems likely that a substantial leak penalty is a standard condition of supplying product components to Apple – though the number of leaks over the iPhone 6 suggests that such penalties offer limited protection.

Contracts between Apple and its suppliers will undoubtedly be subject to strict non-disclosure agreements, but lawyers for GT Advanced are asking the court to allow details to be made public …  expand full story

Wall Street Stories July 23, 2014

AAPL’s report card: how Q3 results fared against analyst expectations

Here’s how Apple’s Q3 results stack up against the analyst expectations compiled by Fortune. Revenue grew 6 percent, but Wall Street was expecting more. Earnings per share was marginally higher than expected, at $1.28 per diluted share. Gross margin was higher than expected at 39.4 percent.

iPhone sales were slightly lower than expected, while iPad sales were significantly below analyst predictions. Mac and iPod sales, in contrast, were higher.

Overall, market reaction was muted, with a slight drop in the share price in post-market trading – but with overall results broadly in line with expectations, all eyes now will be on Q4. Apple has issued wider than usual revenue guidance of $37 to $40 billion, but with the WSJ reporting that the company has ordered a record number of iPhones from suppliers, expectations will be at the high end.

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