Updated from 9:13 a.m. to include information in the seventh paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) isn't set to report results of its all-important holiday season until late January, but judging by the "Apple Barometer," the tech giant may have had its best November ever. If that's the case, expect exceptionally strong fourth-quarter earnings.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White, who rates Apple with a "buy" rating and a $777 price target, made the assertion that last month may have marked best ever November after consulting an Apple Barometer which consists of Taiwan-based suppliers that generate a large percentage of Apple-based sales.
"With approximately 97% of the sales now accounted for in our Apple Barometer, we estimate sales in November rose by approximately 19-20% M/M and well above the November average of up 6% over the past eight years," White wrote in his note. "As such, we believe this November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer. In our view, the combination of strong demand for Apple devices this holiday season, combined with the possible ramp ahead of a potential deal with China Mobile (reported in the Wall Street Journal on 12/5), could be responsible for this strong preliminary print."
In addition to the strong November White suggests Apple had, he also notes that Oct. was a record, based on his barometer, and that Apple is on track to generate stronger-than-average seasonality in the fourth-quarter, and Apple's fiscal first-quarter. White notes the Apple Barometer grew 28% sequentially, more than the average of 13%, which had been seen over the past eight years.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Apple to generate $13.99 per share in earnings on $57.24 billion in revenue.
These results play into what Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook has said regarding the holiday season, particularly as it relates to the iPad. On Apple's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Cook said he expects it to be an iPad-centric Christmas. Cook proclaimed how excited he was about the iPad this holiday season in light of the refresh iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina Display which both launched in November. "I think it's going to be an iPad Christmas and -- but we will see, we will report the numbers back to you in January how we did, but we are pretty confident."
Perhaps playing into the Apple Barometer theme is the decreased wait-time for the iPhone 5s which is largely assembled overseas through Apple's manufacturing partners Foxconn. A look on Apple's website shows that the wait-time for the iPhone 5s has fallen to 1 to 3 business days. The iPhone 5c, by comparison, is available to ship within 24 hours.
The numbers would also play into research seen by other third parties, particularly around Black Friday, which was late in Nov. this year. Analytics firm Localytics said the iPad Air was a huge hit over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 51% more iPad Air tablet activations this week than the previous week.
The analytics firm cited several different reasons for this, including Apple's gift card promotion, as well as a smaller install base of the iPad Air and the newness of the device.
Shares of Apple have rallied sharply in recent days, on news of the inevitable China Mobile (CHL) deal, as well as increased optimism that this will indeed be an Apple Christmas, as TheStreet's Jim Cramer noted in a piece on RealMoney.
Earlier this week, it was reported that China Mobile and Apple had agreed to a deal to officially have the iPhone on its 4G network, and that the deal would happen on Dec. 18. It was later refuted by a China Mobile spokesman, who said the two companies were still negotiating.
This increased optimism about Apple and the holiday season and the new products the company announced in recent months (remember the yokels who said Apple's products lines are getting stale lolz), coupled with the potential for new products lines, including a potential iWatch, and it looks as if Apple is doing just fine in the eyes of consumers.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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