Friday, December 16, 2011, 09:05 am PT (12:05 pm ET)
Analysis: Fiscal Q1 2012 to be Apple's biggest earnings blowout in historyJust as the bearish sentiment in Apple hits a cyclical peak, the company is about to deliver the the biggest earnings blowout in the history of the world.
We're talking about the mother of all earnings blowouts. Well maybe not that big, but certainly the largest blowout in company history without question.
The difference between wealth and poverty on Wall Street is determined by ignoring the fluff, respecting the details and using reason to tease out the bottom-line reality generally overlooked by the masses. While everyone focuses on whether the passing of Steve Jobs marks the end of Apple, or whether the Amazon Kindle Fire will kill the iPad, the company is quietly selling millions upon millions of iPhones that far exceed even the most rosy expectations.
The most valuable company in America is about to grow its earnings by a whopping 84 percent this quarter, and Wall Street is asleep at the wheel. Apple's trailing twelve months of earnings is going to skyrocket from $27.68 to at least $33.00 which will finally drive Apple's P/E ratio down into the 11′s. While fund managers continue to debate whether they should buy Amazon (AMZN) at a 95 P/E ratio or Google at 22 P/E ratio, Apple will have reported more in revenue in one quarter than each of these companies reported all last year.
Bullish Cross Research expects Apple to report $11.75 in EPS on $42 billion in revenue in fiscal Q1, which compares to the Wall Street consensus estimates of $9.79 in EPS on $38 billion in revenue. The Bullish Cross outlook, if proven accurate, will amount to Apple reporting the largest revenue and earnings blowout in the history of the company. The table below outlines the Bullish Cross Fiscal Q1 2012 Earning Forecast for Apple Inc. and includes a very specific breakdown in our revenue expectations:
We expect this blowout to be largely driven by Wall Street underestimating the power of the iPhone side of the force. That will be the story this quarter. We expect Apple to conservatively report that it shipped 32-40 million iPhones far ahead of the 25 million iPhones that Wall Street expects out of the company. That will be the largest gap between Wall Street expectations and actual results since the iPhone was first introduced in 2007.
Yet, not only do we believe that Apple will comfortably ship 32 million iPhones without a hitch, we think our expectations will actually prove too conservative. In fact, we believe that Apple will actually end up reporting sales of more than 35 million iPhones which will cause the heart attack of at least several hundred short sellers. It will be a total deer-in-head-lights type earnings blowout where people just stand there and say "WTF" repeatedly while slowing doing the defeated head-shake CNBC contributor Steve Cortez will be among their number with his admitted Apple short position.
While we think Apple will basically more or less report in-line on iPads, iPods and Macs, iPhone sales will redefine everything Wall Street thought they knew about the company. The minute this report hits the street, the cyclical Apple bear will be shot point blank in the head. You're going to see the sentiment shift from ultra-bearish to ultra-bullish in mere seconds. We've seen it happen before and we're about to see it happen again in fiscal Q1. So the bears have about 3-4 more weeks to live. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Now it is important to understand that investors should view the Bullish Cross "official" outlook this quarter as being merely the lower boundary of what one should reasonably expect Apple to report. While we think there's a significant chance that Apple will end up reporting $11.75 in EPS on $42 billion in revenue, we still believe that there's a much higher likelihood that Apple will report a quarter that is more in-line with the outlook presented by my colleague at Asymco, Horace Dediu. Horace Dediu is one of the best analysts out there, is one of the leading experts on the global smart-phone market, and is a testament to his Alma Mater, the Harvard Business School.
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