How strongly Wall Street receives quarterly earnings depends largely on the iPhone.
In a decent quarter, like fiscal Q2 of 2012, when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had managed to sell 35 million iPhones, the device accounts for almost 60% of the total revenue of the company. In a bad quarter, like Q3, Apple sold 26 million units, iPhones accounted for 46% of the total revenue. It is evident that the iPhone will drag the company and its share costs down with it.
Calculating estimations for Q4 of 2012, the quarter that had ended on 29th September, is pretty tricky. For the first 10 weeks, unit sales were miserable by customers holding out for the latest iPhone they kept reading about. For the last two weeks, Apple had sold iPhone 5s as fast it could manufacture them.
The 60 estimates that have surfaced so far from a pool of Apple analysts include 30 professionals and 30 individuals. It was tough to differentiate the consensus among the more conventional pros from the pleasantly upbeat indies.
The low estimate this quarter amounting to 21 million was submitted by an individual named Shafiq Shamji from Braeburn Group. Before he lowered his prediction to 26.5 million on Monday, Anil Doradia from William Blair had predicted a high estimate of 33 million. Anil said that Apple’s inability to cope up with the mounting demand is being aggravated by its aggressive international launch schedule. Also the company is reducing its exposure to Samsung.
Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley felt that there is a wide range of prospective outcomes for iPhone results. She has vowed to be more conservative with her estimates, with 25 million.
The average calculated among both the groups is 26.4. The median is 27 million.
Supply constraints could be a drag on quarterly earnings of Apple. A number of analysts had this opinion while trimming their estimates.