Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors may be in for another negative shock stemming from lackluster sales over the holiday period. An analyst at Asymco has predicted that the company’s first quarter results will suffer as a result of several trends running against the firm in the busy period.
The analyst, Howard Dediu, said that the important things to watch for on earnings day will be a reduction in demand for the iPhone, which is attributed to the huge failure of the Apple Maps launch, and production problems for the Cupertino firm.
Dediu estimates that Apple sold 55.5 million iPhones and 24.4 million iPads in the first quarter. The firm will have revenue of around $60 billion for the quarter according to the analyst.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will announce its earnings on January 23. The company will hold a conference call on the same day at which it will converse about those earnings. The company’s stock was trading slightly up today, but still languishes below $530. Back in September the firm’s stock hit $700.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is known for listing low guidance figures for its quarters, so even if they don’t hit analyst expectations, they usually hit their own. The most prominent example of this was the first quarter of last year. The company overflew its own guidance by 18%.
Very few analysts expect a repeat performance, but previous surprises have instilled a propensity to expect big moves in earnings each quarter. This caused Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to come in well below analyst estimates of the company’s earnings in their last earnings report.
Dediu says that the biggest problem for the firm during their first quarter may have been on the production side, rather than on the sales side. He says that although the company began to sell its new product in new markets faster than ever in the last quarter, the company may not have been able to keep a consistent supply flow to all of them.
In the report Dediu points to an increase in Capital Expenditure, this might point to a change in relation with Samsung, according to the analyst. That change would have to be pretty large for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to begin manufacturing its own processors.
The report also contains the well worn question of whether the company is about to move to a faster product cycle in order to sell more phones. The company has given no indication of this, and given the Apple Maps trouble, it might not be ideal to begin rushing out new iPhones every six months.
Mr. Dediu’s report is highly speculative, and its conclusions seem unlikely based on the shaky sources and reasoning involved. I am not the first to say this, the analyst, cleverly, includes the same caveat in his report, writing, “I’m very uncomfortable with my forecast, and find it hard to defend this quarter.”
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings will command a large audience when they’re announced at the end of January. When that day comes, we’ll see exactly how the firm’s first quarter went. Until then, analyst projections will keep appearing, offering huge discrepancies in logic, and conclusions.