Apple Inc. App Store Sales In Focus

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is scheduled to release its next earnings on Tuesday, and as always, anticipation is building. Most analysts agree though that unless there’s a big-time surprise, Apple’s earnings don’t matter much this time because investors are so excited about the upcoming iPhone 6.

Apple Inc. App Store Sales In Focus

Expectations for Apple’s earnings

In a report dated July 18, 2014, Societe Generale analysts Andy Perkins and Peter Knox said they’re expecting $37.3 billion in revenue. That’s lower than consensus estimates of $37.8 billion and compares to Apple’s guidance at $36 billion to $38 billion. They’re projecting gross margins of 37.7% and operating margins of 25.7%.

They expect to see 31 million iPhones sold, which is slightly lower than the 31.2 million sold in the same quarter a year ago. The reason they expect a decline is because export shipments of iPhones from China declined 4% in April and May. Also Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXFCOF)  and Pegatron Corporation (TPE:4938) (OTCMKTS:PGTRF) saw their sales decline 2% for the quarter.

They’re also predicting a slightly lower average selling price, from $596 in the previous quarter to $590. They cite the slight decline in the iPhone 4S price and increase in sales of the lower cost iPhone 5C, which they expect to make up 13% of total sales, an increase from 11% in the previous quarter.

Apple’s App Store

The Societe Generale team notes that usually the focus is on the number of handsets Apple sold. This time though, they think that unless there’s a major beat or miss, the number will be overshadowed by hopes for the iPhone 6. As a result, they decided to look more closely at the numbers for Apple’s iTunes store.

They expect that Apple could see more than $1.3 billion in revenue from the App Store, which would be a record. While this is only 3.5% of their estimated quarterly sales, it would offer more than 9% of Apple’s gross profits and 13% of the company’s operating profits. They note that while iTunes music revenue has been declining, revenue from the App Store has been increasing.

They have maintained their price target of $105 per share and Buy rating on Apple.