Apple Stock (NASDAQ:AAPL)
Apple stock was down slightly in premarket trading on Monday after Wells Fargo lowered its 2023 forecasts in anticipation of the company’s first-quarter earnings, which will be released later this week.
Analyst Aaron Rakers has reduced his sales and EBIT predictions for 2023 to be 5% and 8% below consensus, respectively, citing a 12% increase in the Apple stock year to date and indicators of “growing consumer demand fragility.” According to his new projections, earnings per share for 2023 and 2024 were reduced from $6.56 and $7.77, respectively, to $5.81 and $6.50.
For the next quarter, Rakers anticipates $88.5B in sales and profits of $1.29 per share, down from his previous projection of $97.B in revenue and $1.50 per share.
In a note to clients, Rakers said, “Overall demand push-out vs. weakening consumer demand… and uncertainties over the pace of a post-COVID China lock-down recovery leave us with an incrementally cautious stance through 2023.” They now expect iPhone shipments for calendar 2023 to be 216.4M, down 7% year over year and roughly 10% below consensus.
On February 2, Wall Street analysts estimate Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will announce quarterly profits of $1.96 per share on sales of $122.05 billion.
Rakers also predicted declining consumer confidence and spending would hurt Mac sales, but Apple would continue to dominate the PC industry and gain market share thanks in part to the superior performance of its M-series of CPUs.
He anticipates that Apple will grow 4% year over year in its Services division during the first quarter. Still, he also worries about the App Store’s growth and the overall active device installed base, so the prediction may go either way.
As for the company’s long-awaited mixed reality headgear, Rakers says it will be unveiled in the “coming months,” with first sales scheduled for the year’s second half.
Compared to competitors, “we believe Apple’s internal silicon M2 capabilities and the ability to bring together its iOS ecosystem are major differentiators,” Rakers said.
After Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results report, Deutsche Bank lowered its 2023 predictions last week.
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