Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s March Sales Look Stronger Than Seasonality

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could have a big future in China yet, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. He said after meeting with several people during their China / Taiwan technology tour last week, he found continued positive reactions for a larger iPhone 6.

In his report dated April 7, 2014, he also released the latest preliminary results from his Apple Barometer. They suggest that March was stronger than typical seasonality for Apple. The analyst factors in results from Taiwanese suppliers which bring in large percentages of their sales from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Apple beats seasonality

The analyst said his barometer results for March indicate that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales rose by about 34% month over month. That’s quite a bit better than the 24% average of the last nine years. However, he still expects the first calendar quarter of the year to be weaker than average because of softness in January and February.

He estimates that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales for the full March quarter may decline by between 31% and 32% quarter over quarter. That’s worse than the average decline of 17% between 2006 and 2012.

China looking forward to iPhone 6

The analyst notes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to be in a “seasonal lull,” as it does every year at this time. However, he’s looking forward to the ramp of the larger iPhone 6, and he believes Chinese customers are as well. According to White, many of the people they spoke to said they had purchased a smartphone made by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) because it had a bigger screen.

However, they reportedly told him that they might switch to the iPhone 6 if it has a larger screen. Most expect Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to raise the size of its handset to 4.7 inches and possibly also offer an even larger 5.5-inch version this year.

White continues to rate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a Buy with a $777 a share price target.

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