Munster: Here’s What to Expect At the Apple September Quarter Earnings Announcement

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Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster laid out his predictions for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming September quarter earnings announcement on October 28 in a recent note to investors. According to Munster, Apple’s upcoming report will likely focus on earnings guidance for the December quarter since the company already filed an 8-K form in late September that reiterated its expectations that its revenue would be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion.

However, Munster did provide his expectations for Apple’s unit sales numbers on various products. He expects Apple will announce sales of 31 million iPhones, 14.5 million iPads, and 4.6 million Macs. He also anticipates gross margin of 37 percent, which is slightly higher than the consensus of 36.8 percent. Soon after Apple revealed its record-breaking iPhone weekend sales numbers last month, it revealed that it expected gross margin toward the high end of 36 percent to 37 percent.

Munster expects that Apple will provide a December quarter revenue guidance range of $54 billion to $58 billion and gross margin guidance of 37 percent to 38 percent. Both figures are in line with the consensus expectations, including revenue of $55.6 billion. Munster noted that Apple’s December quarter gross margin would be Apple’s first sequential increase in gross margin in six quarters since it would be 50 basis points higher than the September quarter’s gross margin.

Apple’s December quarter guidance is likely to hinge on the size of the company’s iPhone 5S supply. Based on previous iPhone launches, Munster expects demand for the iPhone 5S will peak in the December quarter. However, Munster also believes that any unmet demand for the iPhone 5S in the December quarter will likely be pushed into the March quarter.

Finally, Munster also took a peek beyond Apple’s fiscal 2014 first quarter and into the March quarter. Although he expects that demand for the iPhone 5S will start to fade at this point, he also anticipates that a large-screen iPhone 6 will be released in the summer of 2014. Besides the iPhone 6, Munster believes a new iWatch and iTV product could potentially add 1 percent to 3 percent revenue to consensus models.

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