Four Analysts Weigh in on Apple’s December Quarter

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Analysts are refining their earnings forecasts for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ahead of the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings announcement. due out Monday. Although a number of analysts have predicted that there will be upside in Apple’s earnings report, they disagree on whether the upside will be a result of the iPad or the iPhone. Here are the earnings forecasts from four prominent analysts, per Barron’s.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty says that Apple will announce 54 million to 55 million iPhone unit sales and as many as 26 million iPad unit shipments that could fuel revenue upside, reports Barron’s. Assuming a gross margin of 37.3 percent, Huberty anticipates $57.2 billion revenue and earnings per share of $14.01 for the December quarter versus consensus of $57.42 billion revenue and EPS of $14.09. The Morgan Stanley analyst reiterated an Overweight rating and a $630 price target on Apple shares.

Huberty also shared her thoughts on Apple’s overall prospects in 2014. This year will be “the beginning of a new cycle of growth and innovation monetization,” wrote Huberty, according to Barron’s. She noted that many investors are excited about the long rumored large-screen iPhone that several analysts have predicted will be released this year. She also suggested that a new mobile payment service could soon be unveiled by Apple, possibly at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference.

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