All Eyes on Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Earnings This Week

It is officially that time of year for the most anticipated week of this earnings season. All eyes are on tech titans Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) as they about to release their quarterly earnings, and analysts from Oppenheimer, Drexel Hamilton, and RBC Capital are all weighing in with insightful previews. Depending on whether you side with Oppenheimer’s cautious case for Apple or Drexel Hamilton’s bullish thoughts on the matter, there are clear-cut reasons for both perspectives. Meanwhile, as far as one of Wall Street’s top analysts is concerned, Alphabet continues to dominate online advertising platforms. Let’s dive in:

Apple Inc.

The most anticipated report of the entire earnings season will be released after today’s closing bell. Oppenheimer analyst Andrew Uerkwitz and Drexel Hamilton Brian White weigh in on Apple Inc. earnings.

Though Uerkwitz raises his fiscal fourth quarter, 2017, and 2018 estimates on back of slightly enhanced performance from the iPhone cycle thanks to an “improving ASP trend,” he remains sidelined ahead of the print without much hope for products to drive material upside.

As such, the analyst reiterates a Perform rating on AAPL without listing a price target.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Uerkwitz lifts revenue projections for the fiscal year of 2017 from $209 billion to $211 billion and EPS estimates from $8.14 to $8.30, as well as raises his forecasts for the fiscal year of 2018 with revenue boosted from $245 billion to $248 billion in revenue and $10.63 to $10.84 in EPS on back of a surge in iPhone ASP, which he believes is “offset by lowered Watch estimates.”

Moreover, Uerkwitz increases his fiscal fourth-quarter revenue projection from $46 billion to $47 billion and EPS from $1.58 to $1.66 thanks to elevated iPhone ASP and shipment assumptions. However, the analyst’s estimates for the fiscal year of 2017 “stay significantly below consensus, reflecting our concerns for Mar/Jun ’17.”

Uerkwitz notes, “Our FY17 estimates remain materially lower than consensus, as we believe March and June of 2017 may see Y/ Y shipment decline due to waning demand for iPhone 7 and mounting anticipation for the calendar 2017 iPhone refresh. Meanwhile, we see little upside from non-iPhone products such as Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook.”

“Although initial anecdotal feedback for iPhone 7 seemed to ease investor concern due to higher ASP and positive reviews, we maintain there is still a high risk of weaker-than-expected results in March and June ’17. We keep our FY17 estimates below consensus and FY18 estimates above consensus, reflecting higher expectations for the next iPhone cycle,” Uerkwitz surmises.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, five-star analyst Andrew Uerkwitz is ranked #313 out of 4,190 analysts. Uerkwitz has a 54% success rate and realizes 7.8% in his annual returns. However, when recommending AAPL, Uerkwitz loses 8.3% in average profits on the stock.

Meanwhile, analyst Brian White enters with a bit of a different perspective ahead of tonight’s report, countering with a bullish forecast for the internet giant, reiterating a Buy rating on shares of AAPL with a $185 price target, which represents a 57% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

In fact, not only is White positive, he has expectations for AAPL’s fiscal fourth quarter for the giant to “slightly exceed” his sales projection of $46.05 billion, with the Street meanwhile estimating $46.89 billion, as well as his EPS forecast of $1.59, which is ahead of consensus of $1.65.

The analyst adds, “Our sales estimate represents a 9% QoQ increase and better than the five-year average QoQ growth of 5% over past September quarters.”

Ultimately, “Apple remains our top pick for H2:2016 given our view that the sales, profit and iPhone cycle have bottomed, while valuation remains depressed and we expect the iPhone 7 cycle will return the iPhone franchise to growth. We anticipate iPhone unit growth to return in FY:17 and the we believe the iPhone 8 can drive another year of growth in FY:18,” White contends.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, five-star analyst Brian White is ranked #115 out of 4,190 analysts. White has a 58% success rate and yields 8.5% in his yearly returns. When recommending AAPL, White gains 20.4% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit AAPL as a Strong Buy. Based on 35 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 30 rate a Buy on AAPL, 4 rate the stock a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $128.25, marking a nearly 9% upside from where the shares last closed.

Alphabet Inc

Top analyst Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital is encouraged on Alphabet in his preview for the Google-parent company ahead of third-quarter earnings due October 27th. Therefore, the analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on GOOGL with a price target of $1,025, which represents just under 24% increase from where the shares last closed.

From Mahaney’s eyes, “Google continued to be the largest platform for Online advertising dollars and future intents to spend on skewed positively.”

For the third quarter, Mahaney expects gross revenue of $22.46 billion, net revenue of $18.36 billion, non-GAAP operating income of $7.55 billion, and non-GAAP EPS of $8.81. Additionally, both the analyst’s gross and net revenue estimates outreach the Street, with forecasts for $22.09 billion in gross revenue and $17.98 billion in net revenue. Mahaney’s non-GAAP operating income projection of $7.44 billion and non-GAAP EPS estimate of $8.62 also are ahead of consensus.

The analyst opines, “We are also looking for $8.7B in Core Google non-GAAP operating profit (a 48% margin on net revenue, up 40bps Y/Y), as we believe the company’s improved cost focus could drive margin expansion.”

While Google experienced a $875MM loss back in the third quarter of last year, presently, Mahaney anticipates $196MM in Other Bets revenue and a non-GAAP operating loss of $1,066MM, which he denotes as a rise from last year.

“In Q2, GOOGL fully completed their authorized repurchases, but did not announce a new plan. We would be surprised if Google did not announce a new share repo plan before the end of 2016,” Mahaney concludes.

RBC Capital top analyst Mark Mahaney has a very good TipRanks score with a 70% success rate and he ranks at #3 out of 4,190 on the analyst leaderboard. Mahaney garners 20.6% in his yearly returns. When rating GOOGL, Mahaney earns 15.5% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate GOOGL as a Strong Buy. Based on 31 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 30 rate a Buy on GOOGL, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $949.81, marking a nearly 15% upside from where the stock is currently trading.


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