A new report form Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) has taken the news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold 9 million smartphones last weekend with little impact. Glen Yeung released a new report on the company after the news became clear yesterday and left his $430 price target on the company with a Neutral rating.
Yeung was not that far off when predicting the number of iPhones that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) moved last weekend. He thought the company would shift around 7.75 million phones in the first three days. Weekend iPhone sales are not the driver of the stock long term, however, meaning that the price target and rating on the company remain the same.
iPhone sales and Apple draw
According to Yeung, each release of a new iPhone has drawn sales closer and closer to launch. The mass amount of hype that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cultivates around the launch of each sale may increase total numbers, but it also pulls a greater portion of those sales to the opening weekend and the first few weeks. That means that 9 million is not as significant an indicator of sales as some might think.
To illustrate his point, Yeung supplies the above graph. The graph represents the proportion of sales each iPhone has had in the quarters after release. Since release, the proportion of phones bought in later quarters has been shrinking. Part of this is due to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) marketing machine itself. The company’s incredible marketeers create pent up demand for phones rather than new demand.
Apple through 2014
This means that though the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launch weekend seems to have been successful, it was simply another example of the company stealing its own third and fourth quarter sales. Yeung estimates the Cupertino company will report revenue and earnings at the higher end of guidance. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said the same themselves.
The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sales numbers have been controversial all over. Gene Munster, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) analysts at Piper Jaffray, said Apple likely sold around 5.5 million units, but the company shipped 9 million to stores.
According to Yeung, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should earn around $37.60 per share for 2013, significantly lower than consensus estimates of $39.22 and much lower than the $44.15 per share the company managed to earn last year.