Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5S, iPad Air Sales Could Beat Expectations

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to have done well over the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend. Analysts at several firms are reporting that their checks suggest the company’s strategy was well-received.

Apple’s sales could be better than expected

Analysts at Jefferies and Deutsche Bank believe Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales results for the current quarter could end up being better than expected. Peter Misek, Jason North and Billy Kim of Jefferies report that their anecdotal checks suggest Apple did indeed have a “great” Black Friday weekend.

They checked with Wal-Mart and Target stores and found the iPad Air to be a good seller, backing up a pre-weekend survey which indicated that tablets would be the hot ticket item over the weekend. The Jefferies analysts also checked web traffic tracking firms, which suggested that the iPad Air and the iPhone 5S appear to be doing better than previous models in past launches.

Apple’s iPhone 5S seeing “robust demand”

Deutsche Bank analysts Chris Whitmore and Joakim Mahlberg actually raised their price target for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) after conducting their Black Friday weekend checks. They pushed it up to $625 per share, saying they have become “significantly more confident” in their near-term estimates for the company. They said if Apple’s current momentum continues through the end of this calendar year, their estimates for the December quarter could end up being conservative.

In running their checks, Whitmore and Mahlberg looked at more than 100 different stores to assess demand for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers. They looked at about 50 Apple Retail Stores and more than 50 mobile carrier stores, as well as Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. They also ran some online checks. All of these checks apparently suggested Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) enjoyed heavy traffic throughout Black Friday weekend. In fact, eBay reported that as of midnight on Thanksgiving, it was selling iPads “at a rate of one unit per second.”

Apple mostly keeping up with demand


They also report that unlike previous years, it sounds like Apple may be doing better with keeping up with demand. They did report that supply of the iPad Air seemed to be “running thin” at Best Buy and the mobile carrier stores they spoke with on Friday. They had stock-out rates of between 50% and 100%.

The Deutsche Bank analysts are estimating that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will sell 58 million iPhones during the December quarter, although they believe that number could be low. They’re projecting for Apple to sell 24.5 million iPads, which they say could also be low. They expect their 4.5 million estimate for Mac computers to be in line with the demand they saw over the weekend.