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‘Solid iPhone demand to offset Mac weakness’: Here’s what Wall Street expects from Apple’s hotly anticipated earnings report

Apple CEO Tim Cook gets selfie with visitors, during inauguration of "Apple Store", first outlet opened in India, at Bandra-Kurla Complex on April 18, 2023 in Mumbai, India.Apple CEO Tim Cook gets selfie with visitors, during inauguration of “Apple Store”, first outlet opened in India, at Bandra-Kurla Complex on April 18, 2023 in Mumbai, India.

Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

  • Apple stock is set to report its second-quarter earnings results after the market close on Thursday.
  • From solid iPhone demand to the launch of a massive stock buyback, a lot is expected from the largest company in the world.
  • Here’s what three Wall Street analysts expect to hear from Apple’s upcoming earnings results.

Apple is set to report its fiscal second-quarter results after the market close on Thursday, and expectations are high.

The largest company in the world is expected to deliver earnings per share of $1.43 and revenue of $92.96 billion in the quarter, according to an average of consensus analyst estimates.

While the macro economy has stumbled in recent months, Apple has a massive installed base of iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users it can rely on for a consistent stream of device upgrades and monetization opportunities. That means the company has a chance to beat, or at least meet analyst expectations.

Also on the radar for investors is Apple’s capital return plans for the year going forward, with the company typically outlining its stock buyback and dividend plans during its fiscal second-quarter earnings call.

Here’s what three Wall Street analysts expect to hear from Apple’s upcoming earnings results on Thursday.

Bank of America: “Focus on capital returns.”

Rating: Neutral
Price Target: $173 (3% potential upside)

“We expect stronger iPhone demand to offset weakness in other hardware categories, and Services to benefit from subscription growth while App Store to remain weak. Headed into earnings, we see risk-reward balanced… We expect Apple to institute a new buyback authorization and model a 5% dividend increase to $0.24 per share per quarter,” Bank of America said in a recent note.

BofA analyst Wasmi Mohan estimated that Apple will announce an $80 billion stock buyback program, which would be a decrease from last year’s $90 billion stock buyback authorization.

Goldman Sachs: “Expecting solid iPhone demand to offset Mac weakness.”

Rating: Buy
Price Target: $200 (19% potential upside)

“Services growth should benefit from the expansion of first-party advertising slots in Apple Search Ads, price increases in Apple TV+/Music/One, and moderating year-over-year headwinds from App Store and forex. Apple will likely achieve a record iPhone active installed base [of more than 1.1 billion], which is supportive of increased earnings visibility and valuation. We expect Apple to announce an increase in its buyback authorization of at least $90 billion.” Goldman Sachs said.

Wedbush: “All focus on stable iPhone demand despite macro storm.”

Rating: Outperform
Price Target: $205 (22% potential upside)

“We believe iPhone units based on a clear uptick in demand around the key China region this quarter could show some upside despite the shaky macro as higher average selling prices and overall upgrade activity on iPhone Pro 14 carry the day for Cook and Co.,” Wedbush analysts wrote.

“With an App Store uptick this quarter we also believe Services revenue should be stable and combined should translate into headline numbers from Cupertino that should at least meet the Street’s expectations… With the highly anticipated anniversary edition iPhone 15 set to be launched in the September timeframe the handoff from iPhone 14 to iPhone 15 looks to be a ‘steadier transition’ than some other peak to valley iPhone cycles of the past.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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