Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said on Monday that it sold a record shattering 9 million iPhones over this year’s launch weekend, putting it well ahead of what was expected. So what does this mean for the company’s bottom line? Citi analysts Glen Yeung, C. Adeline Lee and Samuel Meehan examined the numbers and draw some conclusions.
Estimating Apple’s September quarter
On Monday Apple also raised its guidance for the September quarter, saying it now expects to see revenues toward the high end of the guidance the company provided in July. That range was $34 billion to $37 billion. The company also said it expected gross margins to be on the high end of the earlier provided range of 36 to 36 percent.
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According to Citi analysts, if there are no other changes, this new guidance implies September quarter earnings per share of $8.08, compared to consensus estimates of $7.66 a share and Citi’s own estimate of $7.50 per share.
iPhone 5C selling pretty well
Although most analysts have chosen to focus on sales of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5S, Yeung and his team focused on the less expensive iPhone 5C. They said sales of the lower priced handset were “surprisingly good.”
Apple said this week that it sold out of all of its iPhone 5S units. According to Citi’s build assumptions, this is about 4 million units. They’re assuming the rest of the 9 million units sold during launch weekend is iPhone 5C units. They estimated that Apple built 10 million 5C handsets before the launch, so this would suggest that the company sold about half of the iPhone 5Cs it built prior to launch.
The analysts note that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) beat its original guidance by $1.5 million, so assuming an average selling price of $631, this suggests it sold 2.38 million more iPhones than it expected. They said assuming a 53 percent gross margin on each phone, the incremental gross margin from those phones for the quarter is 70 basis points. Of course this points to the upper end of the company’s range, as it expects.
Apple has expanded into more countries
Yeung and his team point out that Apple did add more countries to its iPhone launch this year, which is affecting the results. Last year it launched the new iPhone in just nine countries, and there year there were 11, with China being one of the two additions at launch. This year Apple also added NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest carrier, which it just signed a deal with.
According to the Citi analysts, average unit sales by carrier were about 818.2K units, compared to 555.6K last year. They remain Neutral on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and have kept their $430 per share price target on the stock in spite of Monday’s positive news.