What to Watch For in Apple Earnings

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is scheduled to release its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets close on Tuesday. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates call for $4.17 in earnings per share (EPS) and $84.0 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $3.89 in EPS and $88.29 billion in revenue.

The company had been touted by analysts as having weak iPhone sales before the holidays, but after the first trading day of 2019, Tim Cook dropped the bomb in a rare warning signaling that things were even worse than analysts had forecast. Instead of only seeing firms cutting price targets and maintaining Buy ratings, there were actual downgrades this time around.

While Apple’s woes look tied to iPhone worries and China growth slowing, the reality is that the Apple ecosystem of technology suppliers has in many cases been feeling the heat as well. If Wall Street is only willing to value Apple at roughly 13 times expected 2019 earnings, that is not a ringing endorsement for the technology sector as a whole, considering that Apple had been the first company to ever reach the $1 trillion valuation mark, before sliding in 2018.

Overall, Apple has underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 1% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock is down closer to 9%.

A few analysts weighed in on Apple ahead of the results:

  • RBC has a Buy rating with a $185 price target.
  • UBS Group has a Buy rating and a $180 price target.
  • Rosenblatt Securities has a Hold rating with a $165 target.
  • DA Davidson has a Buy rating with a $245 price target.
  • Canaccord Genuity has a Buy rating.
  • JPMorgan has a Buy rating and a $228 price target.
  • HSBC has a Hold rating with a $160 price target.

Shares of Apple were last seen trading at $155.75, in a 52-week range of $142.00 to $233.47. The consensus analyst price target is $178.14.

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