One major clue that Apple is expecting a blowout next quarter

“Last week, Apple reported its fiscal fourth-quarter results, closing out the company’s fiscal 2012,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Days later, the Mac maker has now officially filed its 10-K annual report with the SEC, containing a treasure trove of interesting details and tidbits about the inner workings of the largest tech company on Earth, as well as hints about its future.”

“Apple has also provided a major clue that it’s expecting a blowout quarter for the holidays,” Niu writes. “We already know that Apple’s characteristic lowball guidance calls for $52 billion in revenue in the current quarter, which would top last December’s $46.3 billion and set a new all-time record for the iPhone maker… Apple’s manufacturing and component purchase commitments have just skyrocketed sequentially to $21.1 billion. That’s an increase of $7.5 billion compared to the last quarter and is Apple’s highest by far.”

Niu writes, “These off-balance sheet commitments are effectively debt that Apple owes, even though it technically has no on-balance-sheet debt. That means that Apple is gearing up to meet massive demand for the arsenal of products that it’s unveiled over the past two months, which it expects to drive 80% of revenue this quarter. That’s a big commitment, so the company must be confident in its demand forecasts. This is the clearest sign that Apple is expecting a monster quarter.”

Read more in the full article here.

26 Comments

    1. I think that Apple is trying to bring them down to earth with low ball guidance. They should just say that they are going to sell ‘lots’ and make more than Amazon or Google.

  1. I have an idea/recommendation for Apple:

    Cease giving guidance of any kind, near term or far! Screw the analysts and let them fend for themselves. (No corporate lawyer here, admittedly, but as I understand it, the practice is voluntary.)

    1. I agree. Apple giving any guidance whatsoever is a waste of time. Wall Street has already determined what goals Apple is supposed to make. Just as the analysts use some sort of formula to determine individual sales numbers for new Apple products, they can formulate their own guidance. They’ll set it to whatever they want to just as they’re doing now.

          1. And I’m also 100% invested in AAPL. Yes, I’ve taken a lot off the table, many times my initial investment. I’m not stupid. But I’m still heavily invested in the only tech company with a real future, and these days it’s all “house” money.

  2. Analysts will lower expectations this quarter so their overlords can buy up the stock while it’s depressed then after APPLE crushes them this quarter they will inflate their expectations beyond reason again then APPLE will miss that quarter and the stock will crash again.

    Analysts are not working for individual investors they only serve the interests of the large banks or hedge

    Lesson: Sell after a healthy gain wait till AAPL drops again repeat buy z

  3. AAPL will be at all-time highs again, within three months. The manipulators have pushed it down. Soon, it will be time for them to push it up again. Over a typical quarterly cycle, there is just as much upward manipulation as downward manipulation.

    For long term investors, the near-term movement is mostly irrelevant. If you look at the 5-year chart of AAPL price, you can draw a nice steady line (averaging out the fluctuations) going back to the lows below $80 less than four years ago. During the past year or so, the price has fluctuated more wildly (mostly upward). The current price is STILL well ABOVE that “steady” upward trend (where the price would have been without the recent crazy movement).

    Actually, the manipulation should be considered an advantage, because you can buy at short-term lows (like now), and (when it’s time to actually sell some holdings) you can sell at short-term highs. Obviously, it’s not possible to know for sure when it’s a short-term low or high, but AAPL seems more predictable than most stocks.

  4. The problem Apple now faces is that they have nothing in the pipeline going forward. They’ve updated all of their products in the last few months except the Mac Pro. It doesn’t generate much profit anyway. Outside of a rumored TV? Do you really think people are holding off buying a flat screen in hopes apple would create one? No way. Their visionary is gone. They have no captain to prognostic the way of the future and guide us into technologies we didn’t know we wanted or needed. The market is starting to see that.

    The markets react to what is coming, not the profits of the most recent quarter.

    1. The markets react to pretty much anything from the jobs report released yesterday to the price of flea powder in Death Valley on a millisecond basis. Perhaps that’s why the big fund managers refer to individual investors as “dumb money.” My favourite quote is “It’s the height of irrationality to believe the markets act rationally.”

    2. The problem Apple now faces is making iPhones and iPads as fast as they can to meet demand. And meanwhile the most aggressive funding of R&D in the industry continues from which these current devices came and new ones will come.

    3. Darren, please try to follow along. If we knew that anything was in Apple’s pipeline, much less exactly what it was, we wouldn’t be talking about Apple. “One more thing” doesn’t work if we already know it’s coming. Rumors of new products stall sales of current products. Rumors of new products invite thieves like Google and Samsung to try to anticipate what to steal and copy. Apple doesn’t go there.

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