Trader fears bombshell is coming for Apple investors

Apple shares have fallen for three straight sessions, heading into its quarterly earnings report scheduled for Tuesday after the bell. Some strategists are predicting that an iPhone 8 bombshell on the company conference call could further spook investors.

"I don't think this looks good here right now; I would sit back and wait on Apple," Eddy Elfenbein, portfolio manager at AdvisorShares, said Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"Remember, Apple is losing market share globally, but the key thing is this iPhone 8. Are we talking about the same customers buying a slightly improved thing, or is Apple opening the door and bringing in new investors?" Elfenbein said.

RBC Capital Markets said in a report last month that the new iPhone could face delays and the release may occur in October or November. The report reiterated some concerns brought to the fore by other firms like Cowen and Co.

As for Apple's quarterly earnings, Elfenbein is more optimistic: "Well, spoiler alert, they're going to beat earnings for this past quarter. But what people want to look for is that forward guidance."

Specifically, investors will look for guidance on the next iPhone release and data about recurring revenue from the App Store, he said. Innovation (or the appearance of a lack thereof) has been the subject of some debate around Apple recently. In an interview earlier this month, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson told CNBC that Apple is "no longer the most innovative of companies."

Over the week ended Friday, Wall Street estimates for Apple's revenue came down by $1 billion, and down by 5 cents on earnings per share, said Michael Olson, a senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. He rates Apple a buy with a price target of $150.34 that implies just more than 1 percent of upside.

"So, our expectation here is an in-line June quarter. For the September quarter, there could be a little bit of a downside in the guidance relative to where the Street is," Olson said Friday on "Power Lunch."

"So basically what's happening is ... where there's smoke, there's fire. People have seen enough rumors about potential for the iPhone to launch later than expected," he added.

Disclosure: Eddy Elfenbein does not have a position in Apple.


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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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