We’re now one week out from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s next earnings report. Many analysts expect the company’s June quarter to be slow, as it typically is because consumers typically hold off on buying iPhones until the next model comes out. This year, expectations for Apple’s June quarter aren’t any different, as investor Chuck Jones says he expects guidance for that quarter to be rough.
Meanwhile, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves believes investors will look beyond that guidance and focus on the iPhone 6, which expected to come out this fall.
What to expect in Apple’s guidance
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is scheduled to release the results from its March quarter on April 23. The company typically provides guidance for the June quarter, and Chuck Jones believes it’s going to be especially rough this year. Writing on Forbes, he says that he expects it to be significantly below Wall Street’s expectations.
Currently Wall Street expects Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to have revenue of $38.3 billion for the June quarter. While that estimate has declined slightly from $38.7 billion a couple of weeks ago, it’s still ahead of what Jones is estimating. He believes the company could see between $33 billion and $35 billion in revenue for the June quarter. This would be a 19% to 23% decline from the March quarter, which he notes is what Apple guided for last year without having iPad launches in March, which is the same as this year.
He expects that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will sell 28 million iPhones during the June quarter and that iPad sales will be weak as well, particularly because the company changes its release cycle to the holiday quarter. He notes that gross margins usually fall as well in the June quarter. He suggest that even 37% could be higher than what the company will guide for next week. In earnings per share, he believes Apple’s guidance could be as much as $1 lower than what Wall Street estimates. His estimate is $7.28 a share.
He suggests that disappointment could be offset by a major increase in share repurchasing, however.
Looking ahead to the iPhone 6
Barron’s reports that analyst Andy Hargreaves of Pacific Crest reiterated his Outperform rating and his $635 per share price target on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), saying that upside is possible and that investors could be more interested in the promise of the iPhone 6 than the June quarter guidance.
Consensus estimates suggest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may report $43.7 billion in revenue and earnings of $10.19 per share for the March quarter, but Hargreaves is estimating $43.88 billion in revenue and $10.22 per share in earnings. He says his supply chain checks suggest that iPhone sales were strong during the quarter. The analyst believes Apple shipped 39.7 million or more iPhones during the quarter, as well as 17.5 million iPads.
Like Jones, Hargreaves also believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s June quarter guidance will be lower than Wall Street’s estimates. However, he doesn’t seem to think it will be as bad as Jones is forecasting. He’s projecting revenue guidance of between $36 billion and $38 billion, gross margins of 37.5%, and earnings per share of between $7.50 and $8.35
The Pacific Crest analyst echoed what others have said recently about the possibility that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may raise the cost of the iPhone 6 this year. He believes that there is certainly room to do this without a meaningful effect on unit sales. He says his checks also indicate that the company could keep selling the iPhone 4S even after the launch of the iPhone 6, which would be unusual because Apple typically phases out older models a couple years after their launch.