Apple analysts are concerned that due to a slow down in iPhone sales, the company will not achieve the results expected when it reports its fiscal third quarter financial results on 24 July.
Mizuho Securities analyst Abhey Lamba claims that Apple has "already started experiencing a slowdown due to the impending iPhone 5 launch."
Lamba said: "Although Apple experienced strong momentum in iPad sales which should benefit from increased distribution of the new iPad, inventory build-up and lack of competition, our checks indicate that the company has started to experience slowdown ahead of the expected launch of the iPhone 5. We expect the company to ship around 27 million iPhones vs. consensus of ~29-30 million devices."
Lamba expects revenue for the third quarter to be in the $36.5 billion to $37.5 billion range and profits in the $10.25 to $10.50 range. The consensus is $37.6 billion. Lamba also expects that the September quarter guidance will be below consensus.
When announcing the second quarter financial results on 24 April, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told analysts to expect revenue of $34 billion and earnings per share of $8.68 for the third quarter. That compares to revenue of $28.57 billion and earnings of $7.79 per share for the fiscal third quarter of 2011.
At the time, Oppenheimer said Apple is expecting a sequential decline in iPhone sales.
Despite the short-term negative outlook, Lamba has high hopes for 2013: "While the company is unlikely to post upside to June estimates and September quarter forecasts present downside risk, we remain positive about the stock as the iPhone 5 upgrade cycle should move FY13 estimates significantly higher. Our checks indicate that the company could sell over 90 million iPhones in the calendar second half of 2012, which compares with current consensus of 75-77 million phones. The upside to iPhones combined with a strong position in the tablet space and share gains by Macs should continue to push estimates and stock price higher."
Mizuho Securities lifted its Apple sales estimates recently after its survey found that 95 percent of Mac owners want their next computer purchase to be another Mac. "Around 30 percent of our survey participants planned to purchase a Mac as their next computer. Macs also exhibited the highest level of brand loyalty 95 percent of the Mac only users indicated that their next purchase will be an Apple computer and 70 percent of the respondents who owned both Mac and Windows machines planned to buy a Mac," according to Lamba.
In related news, another analyst has predicted that Apple will not reach forecasted Mac sales in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012, due to the increase in people opting to buy an iPad instead.