Apple to Investors: You're Welcome

Published on October 20, 2009
by John Paczkowski

aaplThe econalypse may be winding toward its end, but for Apple it evidently never even started. Shares in the company spiked more than $12, or more than six percent, to $202 in early trading Tuesday as investors celebrated another of the company’s great quarters.

“We are very impressed by Apple’s ability to post a record profit quarter during difficult macro spending conditions,” Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek said in a note to clients this morning. “A host of new product introductions and continued traction with the iPhone give us confidence in the sustainability of Apple’s operating model.”

Suffice it to say, Misek wasn’t the only the analyst lauding Apple’s (AAPL) fourth-quarter performance. Below a selection of commentary from other Apple watchers:

Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray
“September results were strong despite headwinds of iPhone production constraints and a Mac desktop offering in need of a refresh. We expect these headwinds to become tailwinds in the December quarter, which we believe will be positive for AAPL shares in the coming months.”

Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital Markets
“With strong financial performance and product uptake amidst recession, and further catalysts (iPhone in China, Tablet, refreshed iMacs, iPhone share gains/momentum), we foresee further upside for the shares.”

Maynard Um, UBS
“Upside to virtually every metric in the qtr backs our positive view on Apple. We continue expect greater “recurring” iPhone hardware revenue (growing installed base & stickiness of the App Store), which should drive more visibility into iPhone sales (20%+ of our FY10 iPhone shipments), as well as iPhone expansion driven by new partnerships (& end of exclusivities). Longer term, we believe a service to provide seamless access & mobility of digital content across all products may be the draw (halo) that drives additional future Apple product sales.”

Tavis McCourt, Morgan Keegan
“Overall, Q4:09 was a strong quarter for Apple, as the Mac is nearly becoming the de facto computer for the back-to-school season. Additionally, iPhone trends remain remarkably strong, with unit economics holding up at unheard of levels in the wireless industry.”

Yair Rainer, Oppenheimer
“As usual, Apple appears to be leaving plenty of room for upside surprises to both revenue and margins. On the revenue side, Apple should benefit from continued Mac momentum (particularly in Europe), higher recognized iPhone revenue, and some channel fill for both Mac and iPhone. Gross margin upside is likely to come from a higher proportion of recognized, high-margin iPhone revenue.”

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