Analysts and investors alike are gearing up for the highly anticipated retail release of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will become available on April 24th, just 3 days before its second quarter 2015 financial results will be posted.
In the last quarter, Apple posted strong earnings of $3.06 per share on revenue of $74.6 billion, despite facing foreign currency headwinds. Analysts expected earnings of $2.60 per share on revenue of $67.9 billion.
The Apple Watch will initially be available in the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The device will be available for pre-order starting April 10th. The company is also planning on offering a preview of the Apple Watch in its stores before it goes on sale. The different models of the Apple Watch will retail between $349 for the sport watch and $10,000 for the top-of-the-line watch.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has high hopes for the Apple Watch, estimating that up to 1 million units could be sold throughout its opening weekend. According to SmarterAnalyst, Munster reiterated an Overweight rating on Apple with a price target of $160 on April 1.
He noted, “Apple may or may not release opening weekend sales figures for the Watch given that they are not reporting Watch numbers in quarterly results; however, we believe they may, at the least, give a sense for Watch sales when Apple reports earnings the following week. We expect Apple could generate 300k pre-orders in the first 24 hours and 1 million units in the first weekend. We also note that we expect 2.3 million units of the Watch in the Jun-15 quarter.”
Munster has rated Apple 135 times since January 2009, earning a 76% success rate recommending the company and a +31.2% average return per AAPL recommendation. Overall, he has a 69% success rate recommending stocks and a +27.3% average return per recommendation.
Likewise on April 1, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva reiterated a Buy rating on Apple with a $145 price target, noting “The reason we view Apple Watch as a bonus potential catalyst is we are not impressed with the one day battery life or lack of built in GPS and look for Apple to make enhancements to eventually address these concerns, albeit likely in the second generation of Apple Watch.” The analyst believes improvements made on the Apple Watch will result in additional revenue stream.
Suva has rated Apple 11 times since July 2014, earning a 73% success rate recommending the stock and a +14.5% average return per AAPL recommendation. Overall, he has a 49% success rate recommending stocks and a +3.3% average return per recommendation.
On average, the top analyst consensus for Apple on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.