A report from Wedbush believes that fourth quarter results for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could be inline or marginally below expectations, mainly due to “new product launches including the iPad Mini, increased global distribution for the iPhone 5, and an eventual iPhone 5 catch up to demand,” but the first quarter and full year of 2013 will witness solid results from the innovative company. The report believes shares of Apple are attractively valued, with an estimated EPS growth of 29 percent and they reiterate ‘OUTPERFORM’ with a price target of $885.
The iPad Mini, introduced by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) yesterday, has a 7.9” screen and comes with a price tag of $329 for 16 GB and $459 for the cellular version. The price given to the new iPad is higher than the expectations, which were at $299 or lower, however, the display area is 35 percent larger, given the slightly larger size than 7” tablets. The higher than expected pricing, though a relief for lower-priced competition at the $199 level, will prove a tough competitor for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Android vendors, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM). On Blackberry’s playbook, the report says this “could essentially be another nail in the coffin for the Blackberry PlayBook”. The introduction of iPad Mini “is a positive step for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as we believe screen size and form factor should be up to the consumer, and see a range of tastes for screen size”.
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Apart from the new iPad, Apple also introduced its 4 generation iPad just seven months after the last refresh for iPad. The introduced version has an A6X chip and sports 4G LTE connectivity, among other new features. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also introduced new 21.5” and 27” inch iMacs, and a new 13”MacBook Pro. The report believes the introductions from the iPhone maker are “impressive that Apple was able to develop and introduce several new products”.
Based on the company’s management report that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has shipped 100 million iPads as of two weeks ago (October 9th), the report expects 101.5 million units to be shipped by September. The report also expects Apple to miss its previous estimates “Given the 1.5 million unit shortfall to our estimate as of 9/30/12, we believe Apple may miss our 17.5 million unit iPad estimate by ~2 million”.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to ship around 24.1 million iPhones, including 6 million iPhone 5, with a possible upside revision to the estimates. Based on iPad shipments as of two weeks ago, the report revises its estimates for iPad to 15.5 million units from 17.5 million units for the fourth quarter. As per the report “some of the weakness is likely due to the anticipation of the iPad Mini and 4th generation iPad. While we see some downside in revenue expectations and at best, inline EPS, we believe FQ1 is shaping up to be a monster quarter for Apple”.