Is Apple Stock a Buy Ahead of Earnings? This Is What You Need to Know

Apple (AAPL) will report FQ4 earnings on Thursday evening in what will as per usual be one of earnings season’s highlights. This September quarter’s results, however, will have a different flavor, due to the well-publicized delay to the new iPhone’s release. An issue Deutsche Bank analyst Jeriel Ong believes will be on investors’ minds when Apple releases its quarterly financial results.“We expect a solid Sept-qtr report from AAPL, but see investors overlooking any recent strength/weakness and focusing on the Dec-qtr given the recent iPhone release and impact on guidance and the Mar-qtr beyond, as this is the first time that all new iPhone products are a month or more delayed. With only a week of new iPhone sales by the time earnings are reported on 10/29, we are unsure that AAPL will feel comfortable with guidance,” Ong wrote. In fact, Apple has not provided any official guidance since January, while for the December quarter, the tech giant usually has 1.5 months of sales data to base the guidance on, it is a luxury the company does not have this time around.As for the September quarter’s results, Ong expects revenue of $62.7 billion, indicating a 5% quarter-over-quarter uptick yet down by 2% year-over-year. The Street’s forecast calls for $63.8 billion. Ong’s EPS estimate stands at $0.69 compared to the Street’s $0.70 estimate.In contrast to Apple, Ong does provide guidance for the next quarter and expects revenue to increase by 9% year-over-year and 60% quarter-over-quarter to $100.1 billion, slightly below the Street’s call for $100.6 billion. On the bottom line, Ong expects EPS of $1.37, the same as the Street’s estimate.As a side note, the 5-year average quarter-over-quarter increase for revenue in the Dec Quarter stands at 52%. “Given the lack of 1 week of new iPhone revenues in the Sept-qtr due to the delayed release, we would expect AAPL to beat seasonality comfortably in the Dec-qtr,” Ong added.All in all, ahead of the print, Ong reiterates a Buy rating on AAPL shares along with a $140 price target. This figure suggests a 20% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Ong’s track record, click here)Apple has decent support on the Street with 26 Buys, 8 Holds and 1 Sell coalescing to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. At $125.81, the average price target suggests room for an 8% uptick. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for tech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.


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HEDGE accordingly