Two Wall Street brokers cut their price targets for Apple today based on presumed lower iPhone 6s sales. The first price target cut comes from Apple Bull (one, two and three) FBR & Co.'s Daniel Ives who changed his target to $150 from $175, after cutting his estimates for the December, March and June quarters, while urging investors to keep in mind the prospects of upgrading the iPhone installed base.
FBR & Co
Ives details his iPhone unit cuts as follows: "We are lowering December 2015 from 77 million to 75.5 million units, March 2016 from 60 million to 52 million, and June 2016 from 51 million to 47 million. For FY16, we are reducing our iPhone unit estimates from 243 million to 223.5 million, and for FY17 we are tweaking our unit estimates lower from 259 million to 255 million."
Ives further noted that "While 6s demand has not been stellar out of the gate relative to bullish Street expectations, we believe this near-term product transition period will ultimately lead to brighter days ahead on the shoulders of the flagship iPhone 7 release as Apple is poised to benefit from pent-up consumer demand/mega product cycle heading into September 2016, in our opinion."
Earlier today, Stifel Nicolaus's Aaron Rakers this morning is the latest analyst to cut his estimates for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone unit shipments, while cautioning investors not to forget the strength of the company's installed base of 585 million customers for the phone, by his estimate.
Rakers, who has a Buy rating on Apple shares, cuts his price target to $140 from $150, after he, like others, used what he refers to as "supply chain checks" to come up with cuts to his March-quarter and June-quarter iPhone unit shipment numbers, and the consequent cut in financials:
"We are reducing our F2Q16 and F3Q16 iPhone shipment expectations to 56.0 million (-8% y/y) and 44.8 million (-6% y/y), respectively. We are maintaining our blended iPhone ASP ($/unit) estimates at $655 and $650 for the March and June quarters, but will remain focused on gauging potential upside. With these adjustments our F2016 revenue and EPS estimates move from $248.9B / $9.85 to $236.5B / $9.33 (street: $242.8B / $9.73). Given our positive view on the implications of Apple's expanding installed base, we leave our F2017 estimates unchanged at $266.6B / $10.75 (street: $256.2B / $10.60). With our estimate adjustment, we move our target price from $150 to $140 (8.0x EV/EBITDA)." For more on this story, click here.
While supply chain checks about Apple products haven't always panned out, FBR & Co.'s bullish stance on Apple now slightly cutting back is seen as a reluctant move; one they wouldn't have made if they had any confidence to the contrary.