NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) - Get Report will release its 2016 third quarter results after Tuesday's closing bell, but investors aren't too concerned about its performance over the last three months, Sanford Bernstein senior research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Tuesday afternoon. The stock is up over 20% in the past three months.
"This is all about looking forward for Apple. So unless this quarter is an unmitigated disaster or blowout, investors will be focused on what the guidance is for the December quarter," Sacconaghi claimed.
Investors are already looking to the 2016 fourth quarter to see how the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, originally released in September, will affect those results, as well as to next year when the 10th-anniversary edition of the iPhone is expected to come out, noted CNBC's Scott Wapner.
When the report is released on Tuesday afternoon, investors should look at three things, Sacconaghi said.
First, iPhone prices were higher than expected, which could potentially lead to higher revenue and earnings.
Second, Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy Note 7 recall fiasco "will ultimately benefit Apple some," he noted. Samsung had to stop production of the device earlier this month after the original and replacement versions had instances of overheating or catching fire. Third, Apple has an extra week this quarter and that was not taken into account for most models.
For future innovations, expect Apple to turn its smartwatch into a health monitoring device, to start a media or television subscription service and to develop a car, Sacconaghi said.
Shares of Apple were higher in late afternoon trading on Tuesday.
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.
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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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