Here’s what every major analyst says about Apple’s earnings

on Jan30
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Tim Cook, CEO of Apple stands with Lana Del Rey (with iPad) during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30, 2018 in New York City. Apple debuted a new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. 

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple stands with Lana Del Rey (with iPad) during a launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on October 30, 2018 in New York City. Apple debuted a new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. 

Many analysts had a “better than feared” response to Apple’s earnings, largely breathing a sigh of relief despite a revenue decline, lower profit and downbeat outlook.

Analysts also mostly shrugged off that Apple for the first time was no longer including unit sales for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple did, however, reveal the profitability of its services business.

It had issued a downtrodden pre-announcement on Jan. 2 with a revenue warning and mostly blaming China.

The company’s stock is up almost 6 percent premarket trading Wednesday, a day after the earnings report.

Bank of America’s Wamsi Mohan said: “The stock could see a relief rally given the negative revisions seen into the print, although investors will likely look for color on services rev and margin trajectory.”

Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi said in his post earnings note that, “we were surprised by Apple in the aftermarket last night, up 5%+; with EPS estimates likely to fall ~5%, that would suggest the stock is 10%+ more expensive today than yesterday, and above Apple’s five-year average on relative P/FE and EV/FCF.”

Turning to the service business numbers, Citi’s Jim Suva wondered whether, “Is Apple a services company? No. Apple is an IT Hardware product company with great services which are attached to Apple products. Without Apple products its services struggle to exist … if Apple services were to grow over 50% the next few years it would still represent less than 25% of the company’s total sales “

J.P. Morgan’s Samik Chatterjee said in his earnings wrap that, “Although yesterday’s announcement will do little in terms of addressing some of the medium-term concerns investors have relative to the drivers of revenue growth as the smartphone cycle matures, we believe book-ending the downside on volumes will help in driving investor focus back to the Services opportunity.”

However, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty’s post earnings take was titled, “Reasons to be bullish.” She noted that, “Importantly, Apple made investors feel better about several recent debates – 1) weaker iPhone demand, 2) gross margin risk, and 3) Services growth deceleration, which we address below in more detail…”

UBS analyst Tim Arcuri increased his price target to $185 from $180, and said, “we think the worse of the bad news is over for a while…”



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