Analyst: Apple’s December Sales ‘Stronger Than Typical’

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Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White reiterated a Buy rating and a $777 price target on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares in a research note obtained by Wall St. Cheat Sheet. The analyst cited preliminary data from the firm’s Apple Barometer that showed the company’s December sales were “stronger than typical seasonality.” The Apple Barometer is an index of Taiwan-based suppliers that provide components for the iPhone maker.

According to White, Apple’s sales in December saw an estimated 3 percent month-over-month decline. However, this is much better than an average decline of 10 percent seen over the past eight years.

Based on the preliminary Apple Barometer data, White predicted that Apple’s December quarter likely saw “the second-best sequential growth for a December quarter over the past nine years.” Per the analyst, fourth-quarter sales for the Apple Barometer saw a 31 percent quarter-over-quarter increase, well above the average increase of 13 percent over the past eight years.

White wrote that 2013 was a “tough” year for Apple. He estimated the company’s earnings per share fell by 9 percent in 2013, its first EPS growth decline in a decade. He also noted that the California-based company’s 5 percent stock price increase during 2013 “significantly underperformed” the 30 percent increase seen in the S&P 500 Index.

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