Technology and consumer electronics often face what is called a refresh cycle. These generate large pops and catalysts for the makers, but ahead of a refresh cycle you generally see a slowdown in sales of the hot items as buyers decide to push their purchase out until the latest and greatest version hits the shelves. That appears to be the case for iPhone from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
We have seen reports indicating this in May, so this may just be one more cycle slowdown or a ‘calm before the storm.’ This morning came a report from Canaccord Genuity showing more evidence of a slowing demand for the current iPhone ahead of the iPhone 5 later this year. We would also note that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is now less than a week out.
Canaccord’s T. Michael Walkley also keyed in on Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM). He said in a research report, “With limited 28nm supply impacting sales of some high-tier smartphones coinciding with sequentially softer iPhone 4S sales, we anticipate more back-half-weighted seasonal smartphone sales during C2012. While we anticipate limited upside for Qualcomm’s H2/F2012, we maintain our belief Qualcomm is well positioned for strong F2013 results. We believe Qualcomm should post strong earnings growth during F2013 due to stable royalty rates, strong connected tablet and smartphone sales, increasing market share for integrated chipsets, and strong 3G smartphone sales in emerging markets.”
Canaccord Genuity is reiterating its Buy rating and $80 price target on Qualcomm. The Thomson Reuters consensus price target from all analysts is almost $72.00 per share.
On Apple, Walkley noted, “Our May channel checks indicated the iPhone 4S remained the top selling smartphone in the U.S. market despite gradual share losses at each carrier with the iPhone 4S now eight months old. Despite seasonally slower iPhone sales, we maintain our belief Apple is well positioned for strong C2012/13 sales and earnings growth driven by new product introductions, including the new iPad, the pending refresh of MacBook Air/Pro, an LTE iPhone 5 by October, and iTV in 2013.”
Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and $775 price target on Apple shares. The Thomson Reuters consensus price target from all analysts is $708.50 per share.
Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM) lost almost 6% on Monday as concerns keep growing and the stock has busted under the $10.00 level. It seems as though it doesn’t matter what the season is or when the product cycle is for RIM.
JON C. OGG