As Apple gears up for its upcoming earnings report, there’s a noticeable air of concern among some Wall Street analysts. Tim Long from Barclays, who holds an underweight rating on Apple’s stock, is wary of a potential miss in the company’s March quarter guidance. This apprehension is grounded in the perceived softening of hardware demand, continuing a multi-quarter trend for AAPL, and is expected to manifest in less-than-robust iPhone figures.
The focus of concern extends to China, with analysts anticipating ongoing weaknesses, particularly foreseeing double-digit declines in iPhone 15 sales in the region. Long projects 52 million iPhone sales for the March quarter, falling short of the consensus estimates ranging from 54 to 55 million. Additionally, he foresees other hardware categories remaining lackluster, and Services growth not surpassing 10%.
Adding to the cautionary notes, UBS analyst David Vogt points out that while Apple might outperform revenue estimates for the December quarter, thanks to an inventory build of iPhone units in China, this could pose risks for the upcoming March period. Despite these concerns, some firms, like Baird, maintain a bullish long-term outlook on Apple, evident in Baird’s decision to raise its price target from $186 to $200.