Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 forecast being tweaked by analysts

Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to announce its results on Thursday afternoon and ahead of that analysts were busy tweaking their estimates and forecasts for the company.

They have to factor in the remarks made by network carrier AT&T about the sales of the iPhone and also tat of Chief Executive Tim Cook.

On Wednesday morning AT&T said that it had activated 4.7 million units of the iPhone in the September quarter, which appears to have been in line with several analysts’ estimates.

Then on Tuesday Cook, at the time of the unveiling of the iPad Mini and other devices, told the assembled gathering that the company had crossed sales of 100 million iPads to date a couple weeks ago. That would translate into lower sales for the fourth quarter than expected by analysts.

These are the numbers that have had analysts rushing back to their excel sheets and calculations.

R.W. Baird's William Power said that the figures announced by AT&T tallied with his own estimates of a total of 2.4.4 million iPhones sold in the last quarter, for which results will be reported.

Sterne Agree maintained its Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $840 a share. The analyst however said that the 16 million iPads sold in the last quarter was lower than his estimate and accordingly has cut his forecasts for the quarter to $36.2 billion and $8.88 per share from a prior $36.6 billion and $8.93.

Barclays Capital has an Overweight rating on the stock but has cut the price target to $800 from $810, basing his rating on figures announced by Cook for the iPad sales which were slightly below his own estimates.

The brokerage has estimated results at $34.3 billion and $8.31 per share last quarter, versus a prior $34.9 billion and $8.56.

BGC's Colin Gillis has a Hold rating on the stock. He thinks that the company will not be able to report fourth quarter revenue of $35.7 billion but could manage a bottom-line of $9.06 a share.

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