Ahead of Apple’s first-quarter earnings announcement after the bell today, Ben Reitzes, an analyst at Barclays Capital, expects the tech giant to hand in a good report card, buoyed by strong iPhone sales internationally.
“You won’t see as much upside as the last quarter, as there was an extra week last quarter,” Reitzes said. “Nonetheless, I expect a very solid report.”
He estimates new iPhone sales to come in at around 33 million, which is above the Street’s estimate in the “low-30s,” and said there is consensus that Apple will post strong double-digit numbers in iPad sales, which should add a bit of upside to the quarter, as well.
Reitzes, who rates Apple an “overweight,” with a $730 price target, wasn’t too concerned about the recent fluctuations in its stock.
“Apple’s a well-owned name,” he said. “You can have these cycles where it has a big correction — and it has corrected many times in its upward trajectory and always rallied back.”
On average, Wall Street analysts expect Apple’s earnings per share to average somewhere between $8.46 to $11.80.
The analyst said the prize to keep an eye on is the iPhone 5, which he expects to ship by the fall. Despite the recent decline in activations at AT&T, “Apple made up for that with the launch in China and internationally," Reitzes said. "A lot of the near-term stuff could turn out to be noise.”
Should we expect CEO Tim Cook to speak about Foxconn or Apple TV?
“I think he’ll be very upfront about Foxconn. As for Apple TV, I think he’s going to say, ‘We don’t comment on new products,’ which is pretty indicative that there’s something in the works,” he said.
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Ben Reitzes does not personally own stock in Apple. Barclays has received compensation from Apple for non-investment banking services.