Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:11 am PT (01:11 pm ET)
Apple manufacturing costs spike to highest-ever levels, seen signaling huge 'iPhone 6' & 'iWatch' launchesApple's manufacturing and component purchase commitments reached a record $15.4 billion last quarter, leading one analyst to tell investors on Monday that Apple is gearing up for a blockbuster fall with the launch of an "iPhone 6" and rumored "iWatch."
Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets noted in a research note provided to AppleInsider that Apple's manufacturing and component costs were up 18.5 percent year over year in the June quarter.
In addition, Apple will spend another $5.6 billion on other obligations such as tooling, capital assets, advertising, and research and development, representing a huge 300 percent year over year increase. While R&D spiked $425 million last quarter to reach a record $1.6 billion, Daryanani also took note of the "material spike" in commitments for tooling.
With Apple spending more money than ever on tooling ahead of this fall's anticipated product launches, Daryanani speculates that the company is spending ahead of the debut of not only its next-generation iPhone, but also a new product category that he believes could be the long-rumored "iWatch." Apple is expected to unveil its next iPhone at a media event on Sept. 9, while a separate event to showcase the company's first wearable device is rumored to take place in October.
While Apple's spending and commitments continue to grow, so does the company's cash: As of the end of the June quarter, Apple had $164.5 billion, with $137.7 billion of it held overseas and the remaining $28.6 billion in the U.S. Apple's overall cash balance was up $17.9 billion year over year, a 12 percent increase.
Apple is also guiding for its fiscal 2014 capital expenditures to reach a total of $11 billion, with $4.8 billion left to be spent. Apple expects to spend $500 million to build 20 new retail stores and remodel 15 more, with the remaining $10.5 billion to product tooling, manufacturing, process equipment and other items.
RBC Capital Markets has maintained its $110 price target for shares of AAPL, which it has held since late July. With $164 billion in cash amounting to a whopping $22 per share, and a "busy fall" expected, Daryanani continues to believe that shares of Apple are undervalued at their current levels.
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