Apple Inc. (AAPL) Shares Drop Following Q3’15 Earnings: Analyst Weighs in

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced its fiscal 2015 third quarter earnings report after market close on July 21. While the company beat expectations for revenue and earnings, iPhone sales were softer than expected, leading the stock to fall over 7% in after-hours trading.

The Cupertino based company reported quarterly revenue of $49.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $37.4 billion and net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago. Furthermore, revenue and EPS beat analyst expectations of $49.4 billion and $1.81, respectively.

Apple also reported iPhone sales of $47.5 million, up 35% annually; iPad sales of $10.9 million, down 18% annually; and Mac sales of $4.8 million. International sales accounted for 64% of the quarterlyrevenue.

Additionally, gross margin was 39.7% compared to 39.4% in the same quarter last year.

CEO Tim Cook commented on Apple’s earnings, stating, “We had an amazing quarter, with iPhone revenue up 59 percent over last year, strong sales of Mac, all-time record revenue from services, driven by the App Store, and a great start for Apple Watch.” He continued, “The excitement for Apple Music has been incredible, and we’re looking forward to releasing iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and watch OS 2 to customers in the fall.”

The company also provided guidance for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter in the report, expecting revenue between $49 billion and $51 billion, and gross margin between 38.5% and 39.5%.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in on Apple with bullish sentiments on July 21, reiterating a Buy rating with a $162 price target.

The analyst explains, “The reason shares are down 7% in the aftermarket is due to iPhone unit sales of $47.5 million compared to investor thinking for 49 million or more.” He continues, “We believe Jun-15 iPhone unit growth of 35% y/y vs 38% in Mar-15 (ex channel fill) is positive overall as it represents continued market share growth.”

Munster points out that the average selling price for the iPhone was “$660 vs $659 in Mar-15,” which represents a positive surprise for investors as this number normally declines throughout “the life of the cycle.” He continues that the “theme of share growth will continue into the S cycle and remain positive on shares of Apple.”

In regard to the Apple Watch, “sales were likely around 1.2 million assuming a $550 ASP.” The analyst observes that this number is below his expectations of 3 million, and that the number may “fuel investor concerns about the near and long-term wearable opportunity.”

However, Munster believes it is “too early to write the Watch off,” and explains “native apps this Fall are the next step toward an inflection point in CY15.”

When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Gene Munster has an overall success rate of 74% recommending stocks, earning a +27.4% average return per recommendation. The analyst has rated Apple a total of 145 times since January 2009, earning a 81% success rate recommending the stock and a +30.5% average return per Apple recommendation.

Out of 38 analysts polled by TipRanks, 25 analysts are bullish on Apple, 11 are neutral, and 2 are bearish. The average 12-month price target for Apple is $152.10, marking a 16.33% potential upside from where stock is currently trading. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Apple is a Moderate Buy.

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