Gene Munster: iPad 2 Component Delays Likely Through June
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says the recent tragic events in Japan will likely impact iPad 2 component production well into the June 2011 quarter. As a result, product shortage of the iPad 2 and even the iPhone 4 are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, although Munster hints that fears over looming supply shortages have been vastly blown out of proportion, particularly with regard to shortages negatively impacting Apple's stock. "Demand is stronger than ever, which should move shares higher," Munster cautions.
While Munster says his sources confirm that Apple's Japanese-based component suppliers are in a veritable state of trauma where production status changes almost by the hour, Apple's new strategic component purchasing deals should help to pick up the production slack in this particular instance. "This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses," Munster said. "Moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases. Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors."
There was no talk of component production shortages impacting iPhone 5 production. Additionally, Munster predicts that the Japanese disaster will negatively setback this quarter's revenue for Apple by less than 1%. Through it all, he maintains his hefty $483 price target on shares of Apple. At 12:00 pm EST Thursday, shares of Apple were trading $338.67.