With Apple's first fiscal quarter earnings report scheduled for this afternoon, Well Fargo analyst Maynard Um is offering up his last minute expectations. He's expecting Apple will report earnings driven by iPhone 5S and iPad sales: Specifically, 54.8 million iPhones and 24 million iPads.
iPhone 5S expected to bring in big money in Apple's Q1 earnings report
Mr. Um's iPhone estimates are above Wall Street's 54.61 million figure, while his iPad sales expectation is below the 24.88 million consensus. He expects the iPhone to show strong margins, telling investors,
We believe implicit iPhone gross margins will be strong (estimate iPhone gross margin of 44.5 percent, up 240bps sequentially), offset somewhat by iPad mini mix (estimate iPad gross margin of 20.6 percent, down 140bps sequentially). With regard to the outlook, we expect China Mobile shipments to offset some of the seasonal declines and the impact from having fewer operators to launch in the March quarter relative to the past.
With the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, as well as the iPad Air and Retina Display iPad mini, launching just ahead of the holiday quarter, it isn't any surprise that Mr. Um sees strong numbers coming from Apple. Looking ahead to March, however, he's expecting Apple to offer conservative guidance.
"We believe Apple's guide could be below our revenue/EPS of $46.9 billion/$11.36 (though in line with the Street's $46.1 billion/$10.97)," he said. "That said, we believe gross margin guidance could be flattish sequentially, depending on mix assumptions (we forecast 38.2 percent vs StreetAccount consensus of 37.3 percent)."
He isn't expecting any announcements today about Apple's stock buyback program. Instead, that will happen in March or April. That makes sense considering the company's annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for February 28, and the buyback program will be a big topic there.
Mr. Um is projecting $46.9 billion in revenue for Apple's second fiscal quarter, and $11.36 EPS.
He is maintaining his "Market Perform" rating for Apple's stock, and has a 12-month value range between $385 and $576. Apple is currently trading at $552.07, up 6.00 (1.10%).
[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]