Apple analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG is known for being one of the very few analysts who is somewhat bearish on Apple.Earlier this year he downgraded the stock, saying that a change in policy at carriers like AT&T would lead to Apple’s iPhone sales slowing. So far, his prediction has looked good. It’s also looked bad.
Apple’s stock fell after his downgrade, but it’s also bounced back reaching new all-time highs. iPhone sales fell, but it’s unclear if it’s because of carrier policies or because people are waiting for the iPhone 5.
Piecyk has a new note out this afternoon. He’s hasn’t changed his opinion on Apple. He’s still in wait and see mode.
What’s he waiting to see? He’s looking for Apple to deliver a big holiday quarter.
If Apple is going to beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts, it will have to sell ~50 million iPhones in the holiday quarter, says Piecyk.
While there is no consensus number out there for iPhone sales, Piecyk bases his estimate on conversations/research on buy side and sell side analyst work. He believes the current estimates are in the upper 40 million range. Therefore, if Apple wants to beat expectations it has to sell 50 million iPhones.
He believes Apple will sell 35 million iPhones in the September quarter. So if Apple’s going to blow away expectations, it will have to sell over 80 million iPhones before the year’s over. That’s 48% growth on a year over year basis.
Piecyk is also waiting to see if Apple releases another product, like an iPad Mini. Much of the hype this year is based on products that may or may not come.
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