With Apple’s second-quarter earnings due Wednesday, some of the two dozen analysts who follow the stock have dusted off their spreadsheets, taken a fresh look at their models, and come to some last-minute conclusions.
The trend, starting with MacBook sales, is mostly bullish for Apple (AAPL); the four analysts we know of who have published new reports in the past 24 hours have pushed their Macintosh sales estimates up 100,000 to 300,000 above the Street consensus of 2.0 million. Their estimates of iPod sales, by contrast, fall below the 10.7 million consensus target. Their iPhone numbers are all over the lot, ranging from 1.5 to 2 million. For why this may be so, see Apple Q2 earnings: What to watch.
The exception to this bullish sentiment is Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. A long-time Apple supporter, he issued a turnabout report on Tuesday in which he downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral, warning clients that Apple’s shares are near his target of 175, with only 4% appreciation ahead of it and a 15% to 20% downside risk. “We continue to be upbeat on the potential for a strong 2H product roll-out,” he writes. “However, we are concerned there could be a vacuum before then. Our supply chain checks indicate 3G iPhones will not likely ship in volume until July and new Macs until the Sept. quarter, likely putting stress on the June quarter.”
Looking for analyts’ target prices? Mike from Helsinki early Tuesday posted a summary on TMO‘s
Apple Finance Board
. Here’s his list, edited slightly for clarity:
Daedalus Capital: $300 by the end of this year, $600 during next year
Piper Jaffray: $250
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey: $225
Lehman Bros.: $195
Merrill Lynch: $180
Morgan Stanley: $175
Goldman Sachs $185
Caris & Co.: $170
Morgan Keegan: $133
[Update: Reader Terry Gregory points out that he maintains a complete list of brokerage targets for Apple, color coded for upgrades and downgrades, at AAPLinvestors.net. Click here.]