Piper Jaffray: Mac Growth Temporarily Slides, Refresh Needed

Macintosh sales are up 32 percent, year-over-year, in the first two months of the quarter ending in September. That will lead to possibly 2.8 to 2.9 million Macs old for the quarter, according to Piper Jaffray on Monday. However there was a slight slowing in August, y/y, attributed to both macroeconomic condiitons and the need for a Macintosh product line refresh.

In a note to investors, obtained by TMO, Piper Jaffrayis Gene Munster analyzed the Mac sales for the July and August. He believes Apple will beat the street consensus of 2.7 million Macs sold in the quarter.

However, he also cited two reasons for the decelerated growth:

  1. [The] Mac product line is ready for a refresh. We remain conservative on the Mac number for the Sept. quarter based [on] the fact that the portables are late in their product lifecycles (expect new Mac portables in Oct. or Nov).
  2. The weak consumer environment is negatively impacting Appleis business.

Mr. Munster also predicted that Apple would sell 10.8 million iPods in the September quarter while recent data from NPD puts the number closer to 11 million.

In summary, Mr. Munsteris current model suggests that if Apple achieves the aforementioned unit sales (2.9 million Macs, 11 million Pods, with 4.1 million iPhones), at a Gross Margin of 32%, then the company would see EPS of $1.19 on a revenue of of US$8.5B in September.