It's that time again.. Apple reports numbers on October 18th which is next Tuesday. It will be somewhat somber without the presence of Steve Jobs, but Timmy boy will be his usual non-chalant self while the numbers speak for themselves. There has been much concern in the media and the blog-o-sphere about the delay of the much rumored iPhone 5. As it turns out, there was no iPhone 5 - Apple launched the iPhone 4s and sold a million of them on launch day. Another record, another day in the life of Apple. Of course, this is not news.. I'm merely repeating what everybody else has already said..
So how does a blogger write anything new about Apple? It's practically impossible. I mainly enjoy reading these bloggers: Andy Zaky (Bullish Cross) / Horace Deidu (Asymco), and Robert over at Posts at Eventide. Andy now charges for his opinions (rightfully so) and Robert is a wealth of statistics, and objective information that he freely posts for the world to consume.. A repository of information as he calls it. Horace is a guy that assimilates vast quantities of data, then draws these incredibly creative charts, which are accompanied by his equally creative commentary. Horace (Asymco) is a little more broad, he talks about the mobile industry, but Apple is usually a big part of his subject matter. Also - over at the Apple Finance board, there are a whole slew of intelligent opinions bantied about. This board has long term members that are experienced traders whether it be options, day trading, or buy and hold.. I check into these places on most days. Of course, I have to mention Apple 2.0 and Phillip Elmer Dewitt, at Fortune - If you are looking for info on Apple - PED's blog is the place to be.
There is a guy that cruises most of these sites by the name of Falkirk that writes very creative and interesting opinions on Apple as a company.. he's really insightful - you will see him comenting in most of these destinations. All of these websites are a click away from this blog.
My opinion on Apple stock is buy as much as you can, and hold as long as you can..
The weird thing about Apple is this:
Everybody waits and anticipates Apple's next big move. There are arguments on both sides bullish and bearish.. People go back and forth for months, but Apple never reveals their hand until the day they say they are going to announce something - Then they do just that. They take one hour or so to make a presentation, then they shut down and let the world argue over what they just presented for 3 or 4 months.. Usually the quarterly earnings calls get the most hoopla.
Consistent through all of this is one big thing. Apple keeps exceeding expectations when REAL numbers are published. We can argue all day long about the recent announcement of the iPhone 4s being not good enough.. They still sell a million in 24 hours and break another record. They just keep doing it over and over again. I don't see that trend stopping anytime soon. I've been saying this since I first started this blog. We've still got all of 2012 for this type of growth.. it won't start tapering off until end of 2013 / beginning of 2014 - there's just too much momentum, and market share to grab. I'm not saying the growth will stop at the end of 2013, you just won't see the 80% YOY growth in revenue / 100% growth in EPS anymore.
Ok - here's my prediction for Q4 - I sent these numbers to PED on September 24th, also at that time submitted to the AAPL independent analysts group that I belong to.
YOY in parenthesis
Revenue - $36,419,000,000 (79%)
EPS ----- $9.94 (114%)
iPhones - 26,750,000 (90%)
iPads - - 14,800,000 (261%)
Macs - - 4,750,000 (22%)
iPods - - - 7,450,000 (-18%)
Gross margin - 42.6%
Int'l sales - 66%
Of the 47 or so analysts polled on Fortune, my revenue is third highest.. The rest of my numbers have a similar rank. The gross margins will be that high because they have NOT changed the basic form of the iPad or iPhone. They changed the guts of the iPhone, but they did not create a case re-design.
For the record - I came in 4th place overall last quarter, 12th place prior quarter, and 8th the quarter before that. Like I said, there's 47 or so analysts in the smackdown now.
Q1 preliminary numbers..
Revenue - 46 b
EPS - 11.30
iPhones - 30m +
iPads - - 20m
Macs - - - 5.5m (33% growth)
ipods -- 9m
GM - - - 42%
Int'l sales - 70%
Finally 2010 - 2011 YOY stats (with my Q4 numbers added in)
Revenue - 78%
EPS - - 102%
iPhones - 105%
iPads - - 389%
Macs - - 22%
iPods - -15%
GM 2010 = 40.00%
GM 2011 = 40.80%
Thats it - see you online on the 18th during the conference call on one of the many live blogs..