Apple Inc. To Handily Beat Its Q3 Guidance, Predict Analysts

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is all set to report its fiscal third quarter results on July 22. Analyst expectations have increased significantly as the announcement date approaches. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um told investors last week that he saw significant improvement in the tech giant’s gross margins. Apple forecasts Q3 revenues of $36-$38 billion with 37%-38% gross margins.

Analysts upbeat about Apple’s June quarter results

Um forecasts Q3 revenues of $38.2 billion with $1.27 in earnings per share. He predicts gross margins of 38.3% due to accounting-related issues. The Wells Fargo analyst’s prediction is well above the consensus estimate of $37.9 billion in sales and $1.22 per share in earnings. Um expects Apple to sell 36.5 million iPhones, 12 million iPads, 3.9 million Macs and just 1.9 million iPods in the June quarter.

He is not the only analyst who is bullish on the upcoming earnings. Asymco analyst Horace Dediu said Apple will report revenues of $38.2 billion, beating its own guidance of $36-$38 billion. Dediu expects the iPhone shipments to come in at 33.7 million units, compared to 31.2 million in the same quarter last year. The iPad sales are expected to increase fro, 14.6 million to 16 million. However, Dediu predicts the iPod sales to fall from 4.5 million to 2.5 million.


Apple signs deal with 16 new carriers

Of course, most analysts are expecting the iPhone sales to be strong given Apple has signed deals with 16 new telecom carriers since the end of April. The Cupertino-based company now has 332 carrier partners worldwide. Meanwhile, several analysts have increased their price targets on Apple ahead of the earnings. Cowen & Company now has a $102 price target, Needham & Company has set the PT of $97, JPMorgan analysts have a price objective of $108, while RBC Capital Markets has set its price target at $100.

Last week, Evercore Partners analyst Rob Cihra increased his price target on Apple to $115. But his expectations are from the upcoming iPhone 6 and the much-rumored iWatch. Cihra forecasts Apple to sell 58 million iPhone in December quarter, up 14% from the last year.

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