Apple analyst Gene Munster

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could get a boost from Mac sales according to a new report from Piper Jaffray. The report issued by ‘Apple Guru’, Gene Munster notes that through the first two months of NPD sales data in the March quarter, Macs are tracking up 14% y/y. Munster noted with the January data, he believes Apple is catching up with iMac orders from supply issues in December.

Gene Munster is maintaining his down 5% y/y Mac expectation for March, but note there could be some slight upside to their estimate given the early data. While Macs are becoming a less and less meaningful piece of the story, Muntser believes that the core themes moving forward for AAPL are an increase in the dividend at the March quarter report, a cheaper iPhone in September, and a TV in the December quarter. More details below:
Mac NPD Data Up 14% Y/Y Through First Two Months In March Quarter (Mac ~12% Revs)

Munster has analyzed domestic NPD retail data for the months of January and February which suggests Mac sales were up 14% y/y through the first two months of the March quarter. The Y/Y improvement is likely driven by Apple beginning to improve supply of iMacs as the company noted the product was constrained in the December quarter.

CEO Tim Cook noted that iMac sales were down 700k units y/y in December. IMac sales are likely far less impacted by iPad, thus the vast majority of the y/y unit decline in December was likely supply). While it is still early, a negative 5% y/y estimate for March (3.8 million units) is likely. Munster notes that each 7 percentage points of upside to units raises revenue and EPS by about 1%.

apple Mac sales NPD data
Via Piper Jaffray

IPod NPD Data Down 16% Y/Y Through January/February (iPod ~2% Revs)

Munster’s analysis of domestic iPod data from NPD for the months of January and February suggests units were down 16% y/y for the first two months of the March quarter. He currently expect iPods to come in down 17% y/y. Piper Jaffray reiterates their Overweight and $767 price target for AAPL.