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Wells Fargo believes 'iPhone 7' will reaccelerate Apple growth, sell 80M+ this holiday

With Apple set to report its first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales this afternoon, analysts continue to look forward to the anticipated "iPhone 7" launch in hopes that it will re-stimulate growth.




Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um issued a note to investors this week, ahead of today's earnings report, in which he said he expects the "iPhone 7" will see a return to growth for Apple in the December quarter. Apple has already said iPhone sales would decline in the just-concluded March quarter.

Currently, he projects Apple could reach as many as 82.2 million iPhone units in the holiday frame. While that's a few quarters out, he believes his forecast is higher than market expectations.

Um believes analysts on Wall Street are too pessimistic, and potential growth following an "iPhone 7" launch is not yet priced into the company's shares.

For the March quarter, Wall Street is expecting sales of $52 billion and earnings per share of $2.00. The market also expects Apple will have sold 50 million iPhones in the three-month span, a decline from 61 million a year ago.

Um's own estimates call for Apple to have sold $51.7 billion with earnings per share of $2.01.

Looking forward to Apple's third fiscal quarter of 2016, the Street is currently expecting $47.4 billion in sales and $1.76 EPS. Um and Wells Fargo are forecasting $45.2 billion and $1.64.

Apple will report the results of its March quarter, and provide guidance for the June quarter, after markets close today. A conference call with the company's executive team to discuss the results will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Pacific. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage of the event.

Wells Fargo has maintained an "outperform" rating for AAPL stock, with a valuation range of $120 to $130.