Canaccord Genuity analysts T. Michael Walkley, Matthew D. Ramsay and Siddharth Sinha maintain buy rating for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
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Canaccord Genuity’s U.S surveys indicated strong Black Friday weekend iPad Air and new iPad mini sales at big-box retailers, through online channels, in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and carrier retail stores, and essentially at all channels where the iPads were available. Further, analysts’ follow-on carrier surveys post Black Friday and Cyber Monday indicated the iPad Air was available in well over two-thirds of the carrier stores surveyed but the iPad mini with Retina display remained supply constrained and was out of stock in a majority of the carrier stores.
Typical wait times ranged between 2 business days to 2-3 weeks depending on the geography, model (iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display) and carrier with longer wait times for the higher memory iPad SKUs. Analysts believe the strong demand for the higher memory iPad models could result in a favorable mix and potential upside to their iPad gross margin estimates for the December quarter. With Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ramping iPad mini production, analysts believe supply could improve through December. They anticipate strong international sales in more price-elastic emerging markets during the March quarter, as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ramps supply into these markets and increases advertising for the new iPad mini.
iPhone 5s sales tops in U.S.
Canaccord surveys indicated continued strong sales of the iPhone 5s, as it was by far the top selling smartphone at all four tier-1 U.S. carriers and at most channels where the smartphone launched globally. Further, their surveys indicated improved iPhone 5s supply for all color models. Analysts’ follow-on surveys post Black Friday weekend indicated almost all stores at the four tier-1 carriers had the popular 16GB and 32GB silver and space grey iPhone 5s SKUs in-store as well as the 16GB gold iPhone 5s SKU. Those stores that were stocked out of these models indicated an average back-order period of 3 to 5 business days. Firm’s surveys also indicated steady iPhone 5c sales with the smartphone’s color options and more affordable price point proving popular with its intended audience.
Overall, availability for the iPhone 5c was strong and most stores surveyed had most of the color and memory options of the iPhone 5c available.
Apple’s December quarter guidance
Analysts at Canaccord believe their surveys are consistent with or potentially ahead of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s strong Q1/F2014 or December quarter guidance and firm’s expectations Apple should benefit from strong holiday sales and a favorable iPhone and iPad mix. Given the continued strong iPhone 5s sales and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s much improved iPhone 5s supply, Canaccord raise their Q1/F14 iPhone shipment estimates from 52M units to 54M units. Further, analysts believe a TD-LTE iPhone launch at China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) is imminent with the iPhone likely to ship prior to the Chinese New Year holiday season. Given firm’s increased confidence in the TD-LTE iPhone launch at the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile, combined with analysts’ expectations for strong sales for the first ever iPhone model at this carrier in F2014, analysts slightly raise firm’s F14 and F15 iPhone estimates from 171M/186M units to 175M/193M units.