Can Apple’s Earnings Fix Its Broken Stock?

ipad appleWith the company and its stock under a growth prospects microscope over the last few days, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) fiscal first quarter earnings report, due on January 23, is being highly awaited by investors. But according to Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes, the meatier details will come from the post-earnings conference call after.

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Reitzes wrote in a note to investors that the January 23 call was “the most important conference call in years” for Apple. With the extraordinarily high expectations from the company’s products over the last few quarters beginning to cost it, the analyst said he believed the perennially conservative Apple will be extra careful with its guidance for the current quarter.

“Apple needs to hint at margin bottoming in the recent quarter in order to stem concerns,” Reitzes wrote, according to Barron’s. The analyst said he was modeling $47.2 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $12 on iPhone unit sales of 40.97 million for the current quarter, but believed Apple may forecast revenue between $41 and $44 billion and EPS of less than $12 per share. What about the last quarter?…

The Barclays analyst, who also reiterated an Overweight rating on the stock and a $740 price target on the shares, added that for the December-ending quarter, he expected Apple to report $54 billion in revenue and $13.38 in earnings per share. That would come through sales of 47 million iPhones and a total of 38.4 percent corporate gross margin.

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Reitzes remained positive for Apple’s near future despite the stock’s more than 6 percent drop over just the last two trading days. According to the analyst, the company was readying three new iPhone models for launch this year along with a new iPad mini. “Shares could then be set up better for outperformance soon as Apple readies new products and new software/services announcements prior to the WWDC in the June/July timeframe,” Reitzes concluded.

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