updated 12:04 pm EDT, Thu April 11, 2013
Ups predicted iPad numbers
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has cut her price target for Apple stock from $630 to $600, writes Fortune. The change is based on "supply chain data points," which have led her to slash her predicted iPhone shipments for the March quarter from 37 million units to 33 million. Mac units have likewise been adjusted downward from 4.359 million to 4.218, although iPad estimates are up from 19 million to 21 million.
Forecast gross margin has been scaled back from 38.3 percent to 38.1. Huberty is now calling for $41.379 billion in revenue versus $43.067 billion, and $9.59 in earnings per share, below a previous $10.15 target.
The analyst does expect Apple to double its annual cash return to investors to $25-30 billion, though, using a combination of buybacks and increasing dividend yield from 2.5 percent to over 3. She also predicts that the company will improve its current Internet services such as Maps and iCloud, and launch new ones, such as streaming music and possibly a mobile payment system. New iPhones -- an updated flagship and a lower-cost model -- are expected sometime after June, as is a new iPad. Huberty anticipates carrier deals with China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo in the second half of 2013, or else in 2014.