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Macs may surprise 'street' in March quarter

updated 10:50 am EDT, Tue March 20, 2007

Macs may surprise street

Apple's Mac sales in the March 2007 quarter may well surpass Wall Street estimates, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. "Over the last several days we have spoken with 20 Apple specialist resellers," Munster wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "With two weeks left in the quarter, most (85 percent) of the resellers in our checks expect March 2007 Mac units will fall slightly (5-10 percent) from December 2006." Wall Street consensus however believes Apple's Mac units will fall around 10 percent quarter-over-quarter in March 2007. "Based on our checks with Apple specialist stores, we are more confident in Apple's Mac unit number for the March 2007 quarter," the analyst noted. In checks with 20 Apple retail stores, 85 percent of resellers expect Mac sales in March 2007 to decline slightly vs. December 2006, while the other 15 percent expect Mac units will remain flat quarter-over-quarter. Resellers generally define "lightly decline" as a 5-10 percent drop from December 2006 to March 2007. "We believe, therefore, Street estimates are achievable and may be slightly conservative."

Apple Specialist Resellers responded to questions about expectations for Mac sales in March 2007 vs. December 2006 in various ways, but most maintained a positive note.

"Our pro Mac sales have been pretty strong, we will be down quarter-over-quarter in March, but up year-over-year," one reseller said. "Usually the month of February is dead for Macs, bu this year we have not had a measurable slowdown from the holiday (December) quarter," another reseller said.

Piper Jaffray maintains an 'outperform' rating on Apple shares with a $124 price target.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    There all over the place

    Funny there all over the place on this story. One says better sales than expected and another says sales of Macs will be down. They should just wait until Apple tells them what happened instead of this constant guessing game which means absolutely nothing.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    That's their job!

    Well, they (the analysts) get paid a lot of money for their guessing skills. Most Wall Street analysts agree Apple is the most difficult to follow. They never announce any major products in advance, always keep everything secret and all together make analysts' lives miserable. Investors want to know what to do with Apple stock: buy or sell. Analysts have to keep pulling stuff out of their... well... ears, in order to figure out where the stock might be heading. While their job is essentially a guessing game, at least with other companies, they have a lot more information to work with. Apple was never a Wall Street darling, and their secrecy might be one of the reasons.

    As for this specific story, different analysts apparently talk to different distribution channels. Obviously, Apple is not releasing the numbers until the Q1 report. Investors want to know BEFORE report is out, so that they can buy or sell short in advance of any changes. They then pay the big bucks to these analysts to try and pry some information out of the market and figure out what the reports might say. Well, Apple sure makes them sweat for their money...

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Q for horvatic

    Oh, and BTW, 'horvatic', is it possible that we are from the same neck of the woods...?

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    no, it makes perfect sens

    March is always the weakest quarter, and usually sales are down from the holiday season's quarter. So it is very possible for sales to be down (Jan - Mar vs. Oct - Dec) yet still better than expected. You should compare this years sales vs the same quarter last year for a more accurate picture of sales in general.

  1. misterdna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Of course they guess

    Estimating mac sales gives traders information useful in making stock trading decisions. While this article didn't give exact numbers, it was not "all over the place" as HORVATIC says. The article is clear that analysts expected a 10% drop in Mac sales (year over year) for February, while all reports mentioned are that stores did better than that expectation. Read the article again if you think it's all over the place.

  1. Grrr

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bollox

    Analysts B.S.. Thats all it is. Analyst = "Well your guess is as good as ours really" Hardly news worthy is it.. And still Macnn laps it up and repeatedly publishes this drivel.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    duh!!

    If you report one story saying sales are down, and another saying they are up, you are bound to be correct!

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well, not quite

    Seems to me that this guy (Gene Munster) took some time to talk to various resellers over quite some time. He compiled the data he received from them; extrapolated trends from this data, looked at the past performance, market conditions, as well as many other factors we, laymen, have no clue about, and then wrote a report for his boss (or client). while it may sound either as wild guessing, or stating the obvious, depending on the situation (iPhone popularity being the obvious, success of AppleTV not quite so obvious), these guys try to use as much information as they possibly can in order to provide the most educated guess money can buy. And if this makes news, MacNN, a news outlet about everything Apple, should report on it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    then again...

    they might not. Got to love analyst speak. BTW, the AppleTV might outsell estimates. Or the AppleTV might see lower sales early on. Or the AppleTV might not actually ship. Or it might.

    There's only one thing analysts could say 100% accurately that you all would agree on:

    "We predict that Testudo will still be considered an a** in the second calendar quarter of 2007"

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Testudo's donkey

    LOL! Good one, testudo. :) I predict I will either be an a**, slightly better than an a**, or somewhat worse.

    Of course, I won't be shipping until the third quarter, so...

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