Apple is scheduled to release its fiscal second-quarter results at 5:00 PM ET on Monday, April 27. Investor sentiment has been mixed going into earnings. While research firms like Canaccord Genuity, UBS and Canton Fitzgerald have been bullish on the stock, Societe Generale downgraded Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earlier this month. But Stifel analysts Aaron Rakers and Sanjiv Wadhwani said in a research note Wednesday that the iPhone maker is going to crush the consensus estimates.
Stifel raises iPhone sales estimate
Stifel has increased its iPhone sales estimate for the fiscal second-quarter from 53.6 million to 59.6 million units, way above the Wall Street estimate of 54.9 million units. Rakers and Wadhwani expect the average selling price for iPhones to stand at $670. Their revised estimate reflects the strong momentum in China, driven by 4G adoption.
Stifel has increased its Q2 revenue estimate from $54.4 billion to $58.4 billion. The research firm also revised its EPS estimate upward from $2.06 to $2.26. By comparison, the Wall Street consensus calls for $55.75 billion in sales and $2.14 per share in earnings. For full-year 2015, Stifel forecasts $231.2 billion in revenue and $8.81 a share in earnings. Stifel has a Buy rating on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL stock with a price objective of $150.
The research firm said its supplier checks indicate that the iPhone sales have been “more robust than previously anticipated.” The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold briskly in China. In the first quarter of 2015, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported 97% YoY rise in iPhone shipments for BRIC countries. Rakers and Wadhwani said they would also be interesting in sales Brazil and India.
Currency headwinds may affect Apple’s (AAPL) margins
The Cupertino company has guided gross margins of 38.5% to 39.5%. But it is likely to face forex impact of up to 100 basis points as the dollar continues to strengthen against other currencies. The recently released Apple Watch will not be included in March quarter results. But investors will be looking for management commentary on the initial demand for the Watch.
Stifel said it expected Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to ship 3.3 million units of Apple Watch in the first quarter of its release (Q3, 2015) with an average selling price of $475. Apple Watch sales are expected to top 19.6 million units in the first 12 months.