Apple will report its 2nd fiscal quarter earnings on Tuesday at 4:30 P.M.
This is typically Apple’s slowest quarter annually. Sales are very high during the holiday season and much lower the first of the year.
Investors will still find annual growth, as well as looking ahead to the iPhone 8 redesign expected this fall.
As well as, historically strong dollar caps Apple’s earnings is always the upside.
Here’s what Wall Street expects from Apple’s key earnings figures, via Bloomberg:
Q2 EPS (GAAP): $2.02, up 5.9% year-over-year
Q2 revenue: $53.079 billion, up 4.9% year-over-year.
Gross margin: 38.71%
iPhone unit sales: 52.21 million (compiled by Philip Elmer-DeWitt)
Apple forecasts between $51.5 billion and $53.5 billion in sales in this quarter. Ultimately, 39 analysts rate Apple stock as a “buy,” 9 rate it as a hold, and only one says to sell, according to Bloomberg.
Here are some key questions that analysts and investors want answered:
Wall Street analysts believe there is a built-up group of iPhone owners who have been waiting for a new model to upgrade. So when the iPhone launches this fall and it is impressive, it could spur a “Super Cycle” of sales.
Analysts want to hear if Apple CEO Tim Cook or CFO Luca Maestri give any perspective on whether Apple sees this as a real possibility or how the company is preparing for substantial demand.
“Over the course of the next year, we continue to believe that an iPhone 8 Super Cycle (starting with 3 models, one of which will be OLED) should drive up replacement rates and drive new customers,” Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha wrote in a note last week.
Apple’s 2nd fiscal quarter is when Apple usually discusses its capital return program.
Apple had $246.1 billion in cash and marketable securities and $87.5 billion in debt at the end of last quarter, according to Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White.
“Exiting [the holiday quarter], Apple had used nearly $201 billion of the $250 billion that is targeted to be returned to shareholders by March 2018,” White writes.
Aside from Apple’s annual capital return update, some analysts will want to hear what Apple would do if there is corporate tax reform and it can repatriate some of the $230 billion or more it has overseas.
“Potential catalysts for Apple during 2017 include a falling corporate tax rate and repatriation of over $200B from cash balances offshore,” Needham analyst Laura Martin wrote last week.
Last year, Apple reported three straight quarters of sales declines before finally seeing growth in the holiday quarter.
Many analyst believe Apple going to shrink in earnings of the spring and summer this year ahead of the “Super Cycle” do to current trend but, Wall Street expects sales to be up almost 5%.
“As it relates to Apple, we suspect U.S. sell through trends have weakened,” Raymond James analysts wrote last week. “We … expect a more muted outlook overall for the next two quarters. However, we suspect Apple’s shares are largely discounting sluggish near term U.S. trends as investors look forward to the next iPhone launches this fall.”
Apple’s services business, is estimated to report revenue of $6.9 billion from Apple Music, iCloud, and AppleCare.
Investors want Apple to demonstrate that it can make money not just from the sales of premium computers and phones but also from subscription services.
“This continued expansion of Service’s contribution to Apple’s business has resulted in a higher quality, annuity type business. We believe as this business continues to grow, the stock could continue to rerate as a result. Current stock price has reflected the upcoming iPhone cycle to some extent,” Credit Suisse analysts recently wrote.