Analyst: Apple Earnings Would Be Much Improved by Mac Netbook
So that “mother of all earnings blowouts” Apple bulls are expecting? It may turn out to be a different sort of mother entirely. In a research note issued this morning, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes “adjusted” his estimates for Apple (AAPL) to account for handset and other “realities.” Understandably, premium products are under quite a bit of pressure these days. “Given industry-wide handset weakness & negative commentary from Apple partners, Intel and Best Buy, we are cutting estimates, including lower iPhones and Macs, given premium products seem to be under more pressure,” Reitzes wrote in a research note. “We recently lowered our global PC forecast. Right after that Intel and Best Buy both sounded off warnings around consumer electronics demand. We believe that high-end electronics is under pressure and Apple’s Macs fit into that category.”
And with that, Barclays lowered its estimate for Apple from $121 to $113. Another cautionary report in a parade of them, but one tempered by a bullish note from investment bank Piper Jaffray.
One last point worth noting here. Reitzes’s report includes prominent mention of an Apple netbook. “In our PC forecast we also discussed how low-end netbook PCs ($300-$500) could actually have upside due to a ‘trade-down’ effect with up to 40mm in unit sales possible for this category in 2009 (our views are above consensus for netbooks),” Reitzes wrote. “However, Apple doesn’t participate in this category, with all of its laptops selling for $999 or well above.” He concludes that it makes sense for Apple to enter this market with a high-end touchscreen device that would retail for at least $600. “We envision a product like this to come from Apple in the September 2009 quarter or later (perhaps FY10).”
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