New product verticals. The oft-rumored Apple TV. Bigger screens, cheaper prices for the iPhone. Wearables. Apple was once the darling of the tech-heavy Nasdaq, and today it reports its second quarter earnings. Back during the holidays, Apple was hammered for this quarter’s projections. The days of hockey stick growth seem to be over.
Apple projections for this afternoon dangle the possibility of a revenue decline. Most analysts are predicting the company manages to squeeze out a small revenue increase, but patience is wearing thin on the ‘one more thing’ company.
Investors hoping for product announcements during the earnings call will be sorely disappointed. Announcements will be saved for the company’s World Wide Developers conference in June. What does that hold for investors and consumers alike? Most will be watching for a bigger iPhone and the iWatch. Refreshes to the Macbook and Macbook Air are likely to come down the pipe.
The laptop segment does not justify its $400 billion plus valuation, so investors will want to see the rumored iPhone 6 and iPhone Pro. The pro model is said to be more phablet in stature. Leaked iOS 8 screenshots show that the iWatch is basically a lock, as is a larger screen iPhone. The leaked screens showed an additional row of app icons, which would fit the narrative the iPhone is about to hit its growth spurt.
Company forecasts for this quarter has revenue coming in the $42 billion to $44 billion range. If it low ends the estimate, that would come under the $43.6 billion it reported the same quarter last year. Consensus expectations are for a $43.62 billion in revenue, a hairline beat.
On the profit side of the ledger, Wall Street is expecting $10.22 per share, up from $10.09 in the same period last year. The increase is directly tied to Apple’s aggressive stock buyback over the past year.
Any hopes for a cheaper iPhone to compete overseas were dashed by Tim Cook when he said he wanted the company to focus on quality and not quantity. That has some questioning whether investors can justify Apple’s current valuation. “We see Apple as a provider of premium priced electronics, a lucrative market but one that may not sustain its current market valuation of $473 billion in the years ahead,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Financial.
Most analysts are taking the long-view on Apple. The new products are waiting in the wings, it is just a waiting game. Demand for a larger iPhone is there, but the question remains. Will Wall Street keep giving Apple more time?