Analyst: iPhone Will Post Double-Digit Sales Growth in the First Quarter

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will report earnings in less than two weeks, and analysts are already placing their bets on how well the company did during its fiscal first quarter. T. Michael Walkley at Canaccord Genuity thinks sales of iOS devices could have climbed as high as 80 million for the quarter ended December 31.

Citing sales surveys in a note seen by Apple Insider, Walkley says that the data suggest iPhone sales grew 13 percent on the year to 54 million and that iPad sales grew 8 percent on the year to 24.8 million. Walkley also expects a sales split of about 2 to 1 between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, yielding an average selling price of about $620 for the smartphone.

Walkley holds a Buy rating on Apple stock and has a middle-of-the-road price target of $600. On average, analysts are expecting revenue to climb 5.3 percent in the first quarter to $57.38 billion and for earnings to climb about 1.9 percent to $14.07 per share. In 2012, fist-quarter revenues accounted for about 32 percent of full-year revenues, while first-quarter earnings accounted for about 35 percent of full-year earnings.

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