“When Apple reports its second quarter earnings tomorrow, investors and analysts will watch closely for evidence of how the company’s switch to Intel chips is panning out,” Amanda Cantrell reports for CNNMoney. “The March quarter is seasonally slower for Apple (up $1.35 to $66.16, Research), and analysts and investors are universally predicting a big slowdown in both iPod and Mac sales from December’s blowout numbers for that reason. But they are nonetheless forecasting big growth in earnings and revenues from the year-ago quarter. Wall Street analysts are expecting earnings per share of $0.43 cents, or 28 percent year-over-year growth, on revenues of $4.5 billion, a 39 percent increase over the same quarter last year, according to a survey from Thomson FirstCall.”
“While analysts expect strong year-over-year growth in iPods once again, they do not think that will be the case with Mac sales,” Cantrell reports. “Wall Street analysts are forecasting sales of roughly 1.2 million Mac units in the quarter, up just slightly from the 1.07 million Macs Apple sold in the same quarter last year. While the March quarter is traditionally slower than December, given December’s holiday sales, the new Intel-based machines may have given shoppers an incentive to buy. It remains to be seen whether they took the bait, however, especially since availability of the first Intel-based Mac laptop, the MacBook Pro, was severely constrained for the first month after it began shipping on February 14, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. He estimates that Apple was only able to meet demand for about two weeks in the quarter.”
“‘The iMac and the MacBook Pro are doing well; we are still hearing sales for the (Intel) mini are kind of lukewarm,’ said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research. Wu thinks Apple’s BootCamp software, released in April, will accelerate Mac adoption, since it allows users to run both Windows and Mac operating systems on their Macs, thereby eliminating a barrier to the Mac world for people who need to run Windows-only applications for work or school but still want to buy a Mac. But that acceleration will take some time, Wu adds,” Cantrell reports. “Apple sold a whopping 14 million iPods last quarter, thanks to strong holiday sales and the introduction late in the year of both the iPod nano and video-enabled iPods. Analysts are divided on how many iPods they expect the company to sell this quarter, with estimates generally falling in the 8 million to 10 million range… Still, if Apple sells 9 million iPods, as a handful of analysts think it might, that’s still a 70 percent increase over the number of iPods sold in the year-ago quarter.”
Full article here.
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Apple FY 06 Second Quarter Results Conference Call this Wednesday – April 17, 2006