Overseas growth driving Mac sales as US consumers hold out for new models

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Apple is expected to report more than 22 percent growth in Mac shipments when it announces its quarterly earnings next week, driven by growth overseas, which will compensate for dampened sales in the U.S. in June.

That's according to Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes, who reiterated the firm's Overweight rating on shares of Apple in a note to investors on Tuesday. As noted by Barron's, the analyst predicts Apple will post $5.44 in earnings per share, below the Street consensus of $5.73.

Reitzes said Mac shipments to the U.S. market in June could be "somewhat muted" as reports of an upcoming refresh to the MacBook Air have led consumers to hold off on new Mac purchases.

However, in spite of lightened Mac demand in the States, Reitzes believes the company will still reach his projections of 22.5 percent Mac growth because of faster growth overseas. According to him, Apple averaged 15 percent shipment growth in April and May.

In the March quarter, Apple reported 28 percent growth in Mac sales for a total of 3.76 million units. In the Asia Pacific region, Mac sales grew 76 percent year over year.

"The growth in the Mac has been enormous in Asia," the company's Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in April. "This is many multiples of the growth that that region is seeing for the market."

Also on Tuesday, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities increased his iPhone and iPad predictions for the third fiscal quarter. After a recent trip to Asia, White sees Apple selling 8.5 million iPads and 17.53 million iPhones, up from projections of 8.22 million and 15.85 million respectively.

Another analyst spoke up earlier Tuesday, recommending Apple stock and describing it as having "plenty of gas in the tank." J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz views recent improvements to the iPad 2 supply as a sign that the company has strong upside potential that should outperform "low expectations and macroeconomic issues" among other technology stocks.


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