Analysts seem to be ignoring all this good news in their earnings estimates, as shown at Yahoo! Finance, expecting earnings of $10.18/share for the quarter ending Sunday. Estimates range from a low of $9.23 share to a high of $12, an extremely wide range, with an average sales growth of 9.2% year-over-year.
The problem, we're told, is the iPad Mini, which was introduced last year and aimed at the
Samsung Android "phablet." A phablet can act as both a phone and a tablet. The Mini, while about the same size, is just a tablet. Apple's online store is currently promising to ship one of these units
within 24 hours when you pay the retail price. Apple is also offering quick shipments on the main iPad, adding a unit with 128 Gbytes of storage whose price tops out at $929 with cellular data service.
These don't sound like the moves of a company in trouble. They sound like the moves of a company executing on plan, expanding channels and getting supplies balanced with demand. I would identify trouble as the discounting of product and displays of it piled high in stores.
I suspect Apple's next earnings release may surprise on the upside, and the market reaction to such a surprise will be fun to watch.
At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.
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