Is Asia Showing Apple’s Weak Spots?

Topeka Capital’s Brian White wasn’t the only one to make a trip to Asia to see how things were going for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) production; Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also made a visit, but he came back with a slightly more negative assessment of Apple’s stock.

Misek’s view agrees in many ways with a note Wall St. Cheat Sheet received from Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster on Tuesday. Both analysts think that Apple was likely to fall below Street consensus estimates for the company’s second and third quarters.

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The Jefferies analyst said he expects Apple to announce revenue of $41 billion for the second quarter when its earnings are reported on April 23. This value is within the company’s guidance for the quarter, but its $2 billion below the consensus. Misek suggested the revenue for Apple’s third quarter will reach $35.5 billion, with earnings per share of $7.22, well below the consensus for revenue of $39.3 billion and earnings of $9.23 per share…

Piper Jaffray’s estimates for June-quarter revenue is $35.1 billion, which fits in the middle of what the firm believes Apple will guide — a range from $34 billion to $36 billion. This estimate is slightly below Misek’s estimate, and yet Misek still seems to have a less optimistic stance on Apple.

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Misek believes that some issues with the technologies going into the iPhone 5S, iPad Mini 2, and iPad 5 could push launch dates back a few months, leaving Apple with several upcoming quarters that will fall below current expectations. Misek kept a Hold rating on Apple and a price target of $420, which Apple had already surpassed by the market’s open Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Munster didn’t mention any product delays in his analysis of the company’s stock, which may have allowed him to remain more optimistic about Apple’s future. Piper Jaffray kept its rating on Apple’s stock at Overweight, but reduced its price target to $688 from $767 — still well above Misek’s rating and price target.

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