Apple Barometer Hits Record High in November


Cantor Fitzgerald’s latest Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Barometer data revealed that the Cupertino-based company likely achieved record sales during the month of November. The Apple Barometer is an index of Taiwan-based suppliers that provide many components for the iPhone maker. Cantor Fitzgerald maintains a “Buy” rating and a $777 price target on Apple shares.

According to analyst Brian White, over 97 percent of Apple’s November sales have been accounted for in the Barometer. Based on this preliminary data, White estimated that Apple’s November sales increased 19 to 20 percent month-over-month. This is significantly higher than the average increase of 6 percent over the past eight years. For this reason, White believes that, “This November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer.”

White observed that November’s unusually high Apple Barometer is likely due to the overall strong consumer demand for Apple products this holiday shopping season, as well as an increase in production in preparation for a potential distribution deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). The combination of record performances in October and November will also likely give Apple “stronger-than-average seasonality” in the fourth-quarter, predicted White.

Assuming that December’s month-over-month sales will decline by 10 percent, the analyst predicted that the Apple Barometer will show a 28 percent quarter-over-quarter sales increase in the last quarter of calendar 2013. As noted by White, a 28 percent increase in the December quarter would be over double the average 13 percent increase seen over the past eight years.

White noted three major “near-term forces at work” that will benefit Apple. First, there is a strong consumer demand for Apple’s products this holiday shopping season. Second, White cited Carl Icahn’s continuing push for an increase in Apple’s share buyback program. Finally, White reiterated the importance of Apple’s rumored upcoming partnership with China Mobile.

White also cited several rumored Apple products that will likely boost the company’s prospects in the long term. The Cantor Fitzgerald analyst believes Apple will introduce a “mega-sized” iPhone in 2014 that will introduce a large-screen option for Apple’s iPhone users. The analyst also anticipates that Apple will finally debut its long-rumored “iWatch” wearable tech product next year. White also believes that Apple will eventually introduce an Apple television set, also known as the “iTV.” Although he is less certain about the timeline for that product, White noted that a “full-blown Apple TV continues to be a wildcard.”

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