Like most others expressing Q3-related caution, Moskowitz chalks up his concern to lag time between iPhone 4 and 5. Once the next iteration of the device hits sometime this fall, Moskowitz sees the forecast improving. In fact, even though he's concerned about fiscal Q3 and the current fiscal fourth quarter (July-August-September), Moskowitz rates AAPL "overweight" and expects shares to hit $695 by December, just $20 lower than his previous estimate of $715. Last quarter, Apple guided down expectations for Q3, putting revenue estimates at $34 billion and EPS at $8.68 (numbers courtesy of my Briefing.com feed). Of course, a low-ball estimate from Apple should surprise no one. That tends to be standard operating procedure. Briefing reports Capital IQ analyst estimates, which, as of Monday afternoon, came in at roughly $37.4 billion and $9.95. Typically, Apple blows both numbers away. If there was ever a risk of the company missing consensus and flirting too closely with its own guidance, it's the upcoming fiscal Q3, forthcoming fiscal Q4 report (due in October) or both. The last time Apple missed analyst consensus estimates (but crushed its own guidance) was fiscal Q4 2011. EPS for that period came in at $7.05, while analysts expected $7.27 and management had issued downside guidance of $5.50 on its previous report. Revenue totaled $28.2 billion vs. consensus estimates of $29.3 billion and company guidance of $27.6 billion.
Moskowitzexpects Apple to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of $10.20 per share on revenue of $36.8 billion. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of $10.33 per share in the quarter on revenue of $37.33 billion.