Apple’s gross profit per iPhone “has likely peaked” says Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves.
Hargreaves is trimming his price target on Apple’s stock to $645, down from $670, says Eric Savitz at Forbes, who has the note. Hargreaves is still recommending Apple’s stock.
The cost of goods sold for an iPhone 5 is going to be $370, says Hargreaves in his note. That’s higher than he originally thought, and it’s causing him to cut his EPS estimate for the quarter to $14.76. That’s still well ahead of the consensus which is $13.34.
Hargreaves is also lowering his gross margin per iPhone to 38.8% from 40%.
Savitz doesn’t list Hargreaves exact reasons for the lower profit estimate for the iPhone. He just says that profits per iPhone fell in Q3, and it’s likely to continue. If we had to guess a reason why, we would say that there’s a shift in iPhone purchasing. People are buying iPhone 4s, iPhone 4Ss, and iPhone 5s. This mix could be hitting Apple’s profits. Also, the iPhone 5 could be more expensive to make.
One of the looming concerns for Apple, from an investor’s perspective, is whether or not Apple can maintain its extraordinarily high margins. If Hargreaves is correct, Apple cannot do it. We’ll see how investors react to lower margins, even if Apple still delivers blockbuster sales and profits.
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