Two More Analysts Boost Their Apple Sales Estimates on iPhone Strength

Goldman Sachs’ Bill Shope and Needham’s Charlie Wolf on Monday lifted their EPS estimates for Apple’s December quarter to US$9.94 and $10.85, respectively, citing higher iPhone sales estimates. Forbes reported on the two moves, which come on the heels of two other analysts who last Thursday raised their Apple estimates because of strong iPhone sales.

Mr. Shope boosted his 4Q11 iPhone sales estimate from 30.2 million units to 31 million and wrote: “We believe Apple is set to report healthy December quarter upside and all signs point to better than expected performance through 2012.” Those signs also include the expectation of a lower-priced iPad 2 once the third iPad is released and continued strength in Mac sales.

Mr. Wolf raised Mr. Shope’s bet by revising his 4Q11 iPhone sales from 28 million units to 32 million. He also bumped his iPad sales estimate from 12.5 million units to 13 million.

Current consensus EPS estimates for Apple’s 4Q11 sales, which are the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year, stood at $9.87 before these two notes were released. Forbes noted that the all-time high for AAPL stock is $426.70 — the share price barely broke that barrier in morning trading when it hit $426.77, and it stood at $425.73, up $3.33 for the day, when this article was published.

Apple will announce its December quarter sales on January 24, 2012, at 5 PM Eastern time. TMO will provide live coverage.