Apple, Inc. Q3: Lackluster Quarter With Strong iPhone Sales

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is scheduled to report its fiscal Q3 results on July 22 after the market closes. Wall Street expectations aren’t very high ahead of the product refresh cycle. But analysts still expect Apple to beat its guidance. Deutsche Bank analysts Sherri Scribner and Joakim Mahiberg said in a research note that they expected the tech giant to report June quarter results in line with the Wall Street consensus of $38 billion in sales and $1.23 per share in earnings.

Apple, Inc. Q3: Lackluster Quarter With Strong iPhone Sales

Apple added 51 partners in the last 12 months

The iPhone sales have slowed as consumers wait for the large-screen iPhone 6, which is likely to be announced in September. Historically, the iPhone shipments decline 16% QoQ in the quarter prior to the new iPhone release. Deutsche Bank expects Apple to sell 36 million iPhone during the June quarter, down 18% QoQ. However, addition of new carriers should provide upside. Apple has added 51 new carriers across the world in the past 12 months, including China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo. Now the company has 332 partners in 122 countries.

Apple iPhone 6

The launch of large screen iPhones should boost iPhone sales in coming quarters. As the images below show, sales of smartphones between 4.0-4.49-inches are slowing. Unit growth in this category slowed to 28% YoY in the first quarter this year. But devices with bigger than 4.5-inch screens have seen sustainable growth.

iPHone 6 Models

iPhone 6 2

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 in two screen sizes: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. IDC data show that the devices with more than 5-inch screen size registered a 330% unit growth in Q1, 2014, with the biggest chunk of that growth coming from Asia. Deutsche Bank believes that the demand for larger screen smartphones will stay robust going forward.

Apple stock usually rises 15% in six months of an iPhone launch

Moreover, product cycle refresh has provided significant upside to Apple stock in the past, with the exception of the iPhone 5. Apple stock goes up 2% on average within three months of an iPhone announcement, and 15% in less than six months of launch. Strong stock performance in the six months following the launch of a new iPhone is partially due to the holiday quarter sales boost.

Apple Stock

Apple shares ticked up 0.55% to $94.95 in pre-market trading Monday.