NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report is struggling to keep up with demand for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus ahead of its 2016 fourth quarter report, due out after today's closing bell, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Tuesday morning. The firm has an "overweight" rating and $151 price target on the stock.
"They are on tight supply," he said. The firm's analytics team found that for the iPhone 7 Plus, supply is at only about 40% in the U.S. and 12% in China, so Apple "is having a tough time keeping up with demand," Munster added.
Apple's "hands are tied" with this back order situation because it's just based on however many phones they can make, Munster said.
"My guess is commentary on the call today is going to be supply is tight," he noted.
The supply and demand of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, originally released in early September, should reach an equilibrium by the end of the December quarter, Munster predicted.
Apple should get a slight bump from Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, he noted. Samsung had to stop production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after both the original version and replacement version had instances of it overheating or catching fire.
About 40 million Galaxy Note 7 phones were affected by the recall and Apple will probably gain about 10% of those customers, Munster predicted. Most Note 7 owners will stick with phones that use Android software, meaning Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit should see a positive lift in the sales of its new Pixel phone.
Apple is expected to release new Macs at an event scheduled for this Thursday and those should provide "a slight positive" for the company's quarter ending in December, Munster said.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect Apple to report earnings of $1.66 per share on revenue of $46.99 billion for the 2016 fourth quarter. For the same quarter last year, Apple posted earnings of $1.96 per share on revenue of $51.5 billion.
Shares of Apple were lower in early afternoon trading on Tuesday.
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TheStreet Ratings team rates Apple as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. This is driven by multiple strengths, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the team covers.
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