Analyst: Get Ready for More AAPL Conservative Guidance

Apple will be hosting its fourth quarter earning report on Monday, October 19, and Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall expects that despite strong numbers Apple will offer conservative guidance for its December quarter.

"When Apple reports on Monday, October 19, we expect to see upside in the September '09 quarter and believe management guidance regarding the December '09 outlook will be conservative, as typical," he said.

Mr. Marshall is expecting Apple to report GAAP results at US$9.725 billion with a 36.8 percent gross margin and $1.66 EPS. In comparison, Apple offered guidance for the quarter at $8.7 billion with a 34 percent gross margin and $1.18 EPS.

If Mr. Marshall's estimates are correct, Apple will report selling over seven million iPhones during the September quarter, 10 million iPods, and 2.8 million Macs. Looking forward, he expects Apple to sell 7.5 million iPhones, 21 million iPods and 2.8 to 2.9 million Macs in the December quarter.

He added that Apple still has strong growth potential thanks to the pending iPhone launch in China, along with the rumored tablet computer rollout.

Mr. Marshall is rating Apple as "Buy" with a $210 target price. Apple is currently trading at $191.21, up 0.60 (0.32%).

Be sure to check in with The Mac Observer on October 19 for our earnings report coverage.