Apple Inc. Q4 iPhone Sales Slated to Exceed Expectations

Verizon’s (NYSE:VZ) big fourth quarter iPhone sales, which were released on Wednesday, have led analysts to believe that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone sales for the quarter will beat the company’s expectations. On Wednesday, Verizon said that it sold 4.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, more than double its third quarter sales. That tidbit of information has led BTIG’s Walter Piecyk to up his Apple iPhone sales estimate for the December quarter from 30 million to 35 million.

AllThingsD quoted Piecyk, who said, “Yesterday, Verizon disclosed it had sold 4.2 million iPhones, which is above our estimate of 3.75 million and in early December AT&T referenced strong iPhone sales at the UBS conference, which we now estimate translates to sales of 7 million iPhones, which was above our estimate of 5.25 million.”

He continued by saying, “We are also raising our estimate for Sprint to over 2 million from our prior estimate of 1.75 million. This adds up to more than 13 million iPhones sold in the United States in calendar Q4 2011, up from our August estimate of 10 million.”

If Piecyk is right, that means that the U.S. has become an even larger consumer of iPhones than it once was. In the last quarter, the U.S. represented 26% of all iPhones sales, but if indeed fourth quarter sales in America total 13 million, that would mean that the country now accounts for almost 40%. Piecyk has also adjusted his iPhone sales prediction for 2012, increasing by 17% from 107 million to 125 million.

Here’s how the iPhone maker and a few of its mobile phone competitors are reacting to the news:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): AAPL shares recently traded at $420.95, up $2.92, or 0.7%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $310.50 to $426.70. Volume today was 1,703,195 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 15,054,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.21, while trailing earnings are $27.68 per share.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM): RIMM shares recently traded at $15.19, up $0.14, or 0.93%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.45 to $70.54. Volume today was 731,574 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 21,986,200 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 3.58, while trailing earnings are $4.25 per share.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): GOOG shares recently traded at $656.25, down $2.76, or 0.42%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $473.02 to $670.25. Volume today was 178,480 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,003,490 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 22.37, while trailing earnings are $29.34 per share.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): NOK shares recently traded at $5.32, down $0.09, or 1.66%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $7.73 to $11.81. Volume today was 2,419,464 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 30,133,700 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 22.83, while trailing earnings are $0.23 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com