Why Instinet Is Far More Cautious on iPhone Sales Than Other Apple Analysts

Jon C. Ogg

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been given a constructive review by Nomura/Instinet analyst Jeffrey Kvaal, after a review on the telecom sector and Apple.

Kvaal’s rating is Neutral, and the target price remained flat at $215 in the call.

The Weekly Pulse tabulates the stock performance and valuations for the communications equipment and services sectors and adjacent markets.

Instinet is far more conservative than the consensus price target of $238.93. As a reminder, Apple shares were up 31.1% so far in 2018, if dividend adjustments are considered.

Kvaal said of Apple:

The shipment times for the now available XR exited the weekend at a pace commensurate with iPhone 8 levels and below the rather elongated XS trajectory. In aggregate, we believe the XR/XS unit volumes are tracking in line with the 8 cycle. Apple reports fourth quarter earnings on November 1st… Shipment times for the newly available XR are ~10 days in the U.S. and China. This is in line with last year’s iPhone 8 Plus. We consider this mildly disappointing (though only mildly) given conjecture consumer buying activity or telco promotions would be higher with the $749 XR. U.S. telco XR promotions are similar to both the XS and the iPhone 8 in 2017.

Other points were made, including some more conservative iPhone estimates compared with other analysts who cover Apple:

  • XS took an elongated path to immediate availability.
  • Possibility of tighter supply — the longer time to immediate availability may be because of modestly tighter XS supply vs. the 8.
  • Model is for F4Q iPhone units/ASPs/EPS of 47M/$775/$2.84 versus consensus 48M/$741/$2.77.
  • Model for F1Q, iPhone units/ASPs/EPS of 77M/$852/$5.14 versus consensus 78M/$807/$4.91).
  • Every $25 in ASPs adds ~$0.08 to earnings.

Apple shares were last seen trading up $3.41, a gain of 1.6%, to $222.72 late Monday morning. Its 52-week range is $150.24 to $233.47, and Apple still has a $1.07 trillion market cap.