Analyst Data Shows iPhone Demand at 37M units with Apple Likely Shipping Less
If Apple could have met the iPhone 5S demand in the recently concluded September quarter, the company could have sold as many as 37 million units according to new data from Morgan Stanley. Analyst Katy Huberty revealed that her firm’s “Smartphone Tracker” research shows demand for the iPhone in the September quarter at 37 million units. However, due to supply constraints, she believes Apple likely shipped around 34.5 million units.
Verizon recently reported this week that it faced iPhone shortages at the end of the quarter, when the iPhone 5S launched and was faced with considerable demand. The carrier also ended up revealing that it activated 3.9 million iPhones in the September quarter, a number that implies that Apple likely shipped at least 32 million total units in the three month period.
Huberty believes that Apple will report revenue of $37 billion, gross margin of 37% and earnings per share of $8 for the last quarter. For the current December quarter, she expects Apple to shop a record 55 million units, ahead of Wall Street’s consensus of 53 million. The “key variable” for the holiday season according to Huberty, is supply of the iPhone 5S of which supply remains constrained.
The analyst’s forecast calls for the iPhone 5S to account for 45% of total iPhone shipments this quarter, with gross margin growing to 38.7%, revenue reaching a record $55.6 billion and earnings per share hitting $14.30. In her model, if the iPhone 5S were to instead account for half of all iPhone sales, gross margin would add 10 basis points or 0.1% to Apple’s gross margins for the quarter, as well as an additional 16 cents in earnings per share.
Morgan Stanley as a result reaffirmed its price target of $540 for AAPL stock, though Huberty’s “bull case” for the company sees its shares growing to $686 within the next year.
Source: Morgan Stanley