Analyst: iPhone 5S Shortage Limited Apple’s Sales

Source: Apple.comThe iPhone 5S supply shortage may have hindered Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) September quarter sales potential. According to AlphaWise Smartphone Tracker survey data from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, demand for the flagship iPhone reached 37 million units in the last quarter of Apple’s fiscal year, reports Apple Insider.

However, Huberty believes that Apple only shipped about 34.5 million units due to production constraints. This means that the Cupertino-based company may have missed an opportunity to sell 2.5 million additional iPhone 5S units.

Apple sold out its iPhone 5S inventory less than 48 hours after the device was released on September 20. When Apple announced that it sold a record-breaking nine million iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models over the launch weekend, it also noted that, “Demand for iPhone 5S has exceeded the initial supply, and many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.” Some analysts believe that the iPhone 5S shortage was caused by yield issues with Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Despite the shortage of iPhone 5S units, Huberty estimated revenue of $37 billion and EPS of $8.00 for the September quarter, reports Apple Insider. This is higher than current consensus estimates of $36.76 billion revenue and EPS of $7.88.

While Huberty believes that the iPhone 5S supply will be a “key variable” for the upcoming holiday shopping season, she expects that Apple will ship 55 million units in the December quarter, or 2 million units more than the consensus estimate. Huberty also goes above consensus revenue and EPS estimates for the first quarter of Apple’s 2014 fiscal year.

Huberty estimated record revenue of $55.6 billion and EPS of $14.30 for Apple’s December quarter. Current consensus estimates stand at $55.44 billion revenue and EPS of $13.81. The analyst also reiterated a $540 price target on Apple stock, while acknowledging that the stock has the potential to hit $686 next year. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five trading sessions.

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