updated 09:20 am EST, Thu January 18, 2007
Mac market share declines
Apple's Macintosh share of the (worldwide) PC market fell to 2.4 percent during the December quarter based on preliminary data from IDC, but analysts believe that the release of Adobe Photoshop CS3 in April will help market share bounce back in the coming quarters. Analyst firm Piper Jaffray told clients that while Mac share increased year-over-year (i.e., from the same period in the previous year), the company's market share declined sequentially by 0.4 percent from the traditionally strong September quarter (2.8 percent). "Mac market share is generally higher in September quarters, due to strong education-related sales," Gene Munster told investors. "We expect Apple's market share to bounce back following the shipment of CS3 from Adobe (expected in April)." [headline updated]
Senior Research Analyst Munster estimates that 15 percent of Apple's installed base are pro Adobe users, waiting for CS3 to be released before buying a new Mac. During its conference call yesterday, Apple told investors that Mac Pro shipments during the December quarter met internal expectations, but that the company also sees a pause in sales to its Pro markets and also expects sales to pick up on the release of Adobe Photoshop CS3, the first native Intel version of the professional graphics application.
During the December quarter, the company only shipped 1.6 million Macs, short of Wall Streets' expectations of 1.75 million, Munster wrote. "Despite initial
investor reaction, we believe the Street will eventually view the December Mac
number as positive. Mac numbers were flat quarter-over-quarter, in line with the average Mac performance over the past five years. The Street got ahead of itself."
Mac unit sensitivity analysis suggests that if Mac market share averages 3.5 percent throughout the 2007 calendar year, fiscal 2007 earnings-per-share (EPS) estimate of $2.59 would be $0.44 or 14 percent too low, the firm told clients as it readjusted its outlook for 2007.
The firm was upbeat on the company's record iPod quarter of 21 million units, noting strong iPod shuffle shipments and the continued growing potential for a halo effect.
Munster said that Apple's footprint "considerably expanded by 15 million users in December" on the assumption that 75 percent of iPods went to first time owners. "This equates to to a 29 percent increase in Apple's iPod user base; consumers who are now more likely to buy a Mac. We believe the mix of Shuffle increased from 25 percent to 38 percent of over all iPods."
PiperJaffray revised its fiscal 2007 EPS estimate to $3.03, increased the price target on shares of Apple from $99 to $124, and maintains an "outperform" rating on Apple.