Can Apple Keep Up the Pace With Q2 Earnings?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is scheduled to release its fiscal second-quarter financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are $2.69 in EPS on $60.98 million in revenue. In the same period of last year, the iPhone maker said it had EPS of $2.10 and $52.9 billion in revenue.

In the fourth calendar quarter of 2017, sales of the iPhone X accounted for 20% of all U.S. iPhone sales. In the first calendar quarter of 2018, the Apple flagship smartphone accounted for 16% of all U.S. iPhone sales.

Sales of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus picked up most of the slack, drawing 44% of first-quarter sales and 41% of fourth-quarter 2017 sales.

According to Josh Lowitz of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), this may not be especially good news for Apple:

This first calendar quarter typically represents baseline demand for iPhones, after the initial launch surge and before any slowdown as buyers begin to anticipate new models. After the initial excitement over the iPhone X features, the highest priced flagship appears to have settled into a smaller share of sales.

In the March 2017 quarter, the flagship iPhone 7 and 7 Plus phones each accounted for more than 30% of total U.S. sales and nearly 70% of total iPhone sales in the quarter. The two models accounted for nearly 20% of sales in the quarter just ended. CIRP’s Mike Levin noted:

The year-old iPhone 7 and 7 Plus accounted for almost one-fifth of sales, and the two-year old iPhone 6S and 6S Plus had 13% of sales. Even the SE held its own at 8%, down slightly from 11% in the year-ago quarter, and actually up slightly over the December 2017 quarter. With eight models available, and the newest ones costing close to $1,000, consumers appear to want older, cheaper models that have many of the same features.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Apple had outperformed the broad markets, with its stock up about 15% in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, the stock was actually down about 2%.

Prior to the release of the earnings report, a few analysts weighed in on Apple:

  • UBS has a Buy rating with a $190 price target.
  • D.A. Davidson has a Buy rating with a $220 price target.
  • Barclays has an Equal Weight rating and a $157 target price.
  • Sanford Bernstein has a Neutral rating with a $170 target.
  • Deutsche Bank has a Neutral rating and a $152 price target.
  • Wells Fargo has a Hold rating with a $195 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating and a $200 target.
  • RBC has a Buy rating with a $203 target price.

Shares of Apple were last seen up about 1% at $167.05, with a consensus analyst price target of $192.94 and a 52-week range of $142.20 to $183.50.

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