Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release its next quarterly earnings report in less than two weeks, and already we are receiving previews of what to expect. This latest report comes from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who believes the company’s iPhone sales will continue to be a problematic spot in earnings for the rest of the year.
Misek reiterated his hold and $405 per share price target for Apple. Unlike Credit Suisse analysts, who rate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as outperform, he doesn’t expect much out of the company over the next six months.
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Apple’s Second And Third Quarters
He believes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s second calendar quarter report will be in line with expectations, although he thinks the company’s guidance will be below consensus. That would line up with an analyst earlier this week who said he thought Apple would slash its iPhone forecasts for the rest of the year.
He shifted 1 million iPhone shipments from his third quarter estimate to his second quarter estimate because of the timing of channel inventory adjustments made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). In Misek’s estimation, iPhone channel inventories will fall by 2 million in the second quarter and remain flat in the third quarter. He expected to see sell-through of 28 million units in the second quarter and 26 million units in the third quarter, resulting in shipments of 26 million iPhones in each of the two quarters.
Apple’s New iPhone
He also said that their checks indicate that the next iPhone is being built already and will likely launch in late September. He’s referring to the next handset as the iPhone 5S, implying that he doesn’t think it will be the major redesign so many are expecting under the iPhone 6 name. Overall, he doesn’t think the iPhone 5S will have much to “differentiate it.”
He gave the odds of the next iPhone having the much-anticipated fingerprint authentication feature on it as being less than 50 percent.
Problems For Apple
Misek sees continued problems for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as demand for larger smartphone screens continues to shift upward toward 5 inches. He said the other issue is the increasing saturation of the high end smartphone market, which will put pressure on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s prices and lead to decelerating shipments of the iPhone. According to Misek, their checks indicate that carriers and retailers are carrying about 10 weeks of inventory for smartphones, compared to the typical 4 to 6 weeks.
He thinks there will also be a low cost iPhone coming out before the end of the year, although he doesn’t believe either that or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s ramp up with China Mobile will help much. In the fourth calendar quarter of the year, Misek is estimating 45 million iPhone shipments.