Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s December quarter is already shaping up to be a good one, according to surveys from Canaccord Genuity. Analysts T. Michael Walkley, Matthew D. Ramsay and Siddharth Sinha believe the popularity of the iPhone 5S and supply constraints on the iPad Mini 2 with Retina display will likely lead to higher average selling prices during the December quarter.
Apple improves iPhone 5S supply
When the iPhone 5S first launched toward the end of September, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) struggled with supply constraints. However, it sounds like the company has boosted production for the high-end handset. The Canaccord Genuity analysts conducted surveys of carriers in the U.S. and around the globe to check availability of the iPhone 5S, and they said most models of the handset seem to be more widely available.
Their sales surveys for October and November suggest that the iPhone 5S was “by far the top selling smartphone globally” and at all of the top four carriers in the U.S. The analysts said although it appears as if the gold model of the iPhone 5S remains supply constrained and has longer wait times, the other models are generally available.
Because of Apple’s apparent efforts to improve supply of the iPhone 5S, the analysts have slightly increased their December quarter iPhone estimates from 51.5 million to 52 million and their average selling price estimate from $620 to $624. They continue to believe that the iPhone 5S is selling better than the iPhone 5C, which is why they raised their average selling price estimate.
Apple’s iPads doing well too
The analysts said their November surveys also suggest that demand for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPad Air is strong as well. They do note that supply of the iPad Mini with Retina display appears to be quite constrained. That’s according to their supply chain analysis and surveys. They expect that supply will continue to be a problem through the December quarter.
As a result, they have changed their December quarter iPad unit sales estimates a bit from 12.8 million for the iPad and 11.5 million for the iPad Mini to 13.5 million for the iPad and 11.2 million for the iPad Mini. They also raised their selling price for the tablet from $454 to $465.
Good points for Apple
Because of these estimate adjustments, Canaccord Genuity analysts have slightly raised their earnings per share estimates. For the 2014 fiscal year, they’re estimating earnings of $43.48 per share, compared to their previous estimate of $42.75 per share. For the 2015 fiscal year, they’re estimating earnings per share of $48.78, compared to their previous estimate of $48.23 per share.
They reiterated their Buy rating and $580 per share price target on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) they continue to expect Apple to announce a deal with China Mobile in time to bolster sales for the March quarter and offset some of the season trends experienced in the Western markets. They also said Apple’s continued share buyback plan will help with earnings per share growth over the next two fiscal years.