With the iPhone X expected to be supply constrained for months, Apple ( AAPL ) investors will be closely examining the company's September-quarter earnings report late Thursday for clues to production levels.
[ibd-display-video id=2461678 width=50 float=left autostart=true]Apple is scheduled to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market close. But investors likely will be more focused on its guidance than on last quarter's sales and earnings.
Wall Street expects Apple to post earnings per share of $ 1.87, up 25% year over year, on sales of $50.79 billion, up 8%. Consensus estimates point to Apple selling 46 million iPhones in the quarter, up 1% year over year. The quarter includes the first nine days of sales for Apple's iPhone 8, which became available on Sept. 22 after a week of online preorders.
The flagship iPhone X officially goes on sale Friday following a week of preorders. Early reviews of the 11th-generation handset have been "super positive," Business Insider reported .
For the current quarter, analysts are modeling Apple to earn $3.77 a share, up 12%, on sales of $ 85.31 billion, up 9%.
Apple shares lost 1.3% to close at 166.89 on the stock market today . In intraday trading Wednesday, Apple hit an all-time high of 169.94.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani thinks Apple will report in-line September-quarter results, but then offer an outlook that is lower for the December quarter.
"What we think matters is Apple's commentary around supply constraints and path/timeline to alleviating them along with inherent steady state gross margin expectations," he said in a report Sunday. "Whatever Apple guides for the December quarter is a reflection of their supply and not true end-demand, hence we see potential for December-quarter guide being below Street (expectations) but we see upside to March-quarter expectations as supply eventually catches up."
Daryanani rates Apple stock as outperform with a price target of 180.