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Apple Earnings Roundup: iPhone Strength, Stock Split, Buybacks And More

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) reported its much-anticipated second quarter results on Wednesday that blew many investors away.

Apple handily beat the consensus by earning $11.62 per share, exceeding estimates of $10.18. Revenue of $45.65 billion beat what analysts were forecasting by $120 million.

As if a solid top and bottom line beat wasn't enough, Apple announced a 7 for 1 stock split, raised its buyback authorization by $30 billion to $90 billion and upped its quarterly dividend by eight percent to $3.29 per share.

Earnings rundown

iPhone revenue rose 17 percent year-over-year to $26.1 billion (43.7 million units sold), representing 57 percent of Apple's total revenue, while sales of iPad devices declined 13 percent year-over-year to $7.6 billion. Revenue from Mac computers rose one percent year-over-year to $5.5 billion.

Net profit for the quarter rose to $10.2 billion from $9.5 billion a year ago. Gross margin improved 180 bps year-over-year to 39.3 percent, topping guidance of 37 percent to 38 percent.

Revenue from iTunes, Software and related services rose 11 percent to $4.57 billion.

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In terms of geographical breakdown, Apple saw revenue growth year-over-year in every operating segment which includes Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific.

Revenue in the closely watched Chinese market grew to $9.29 billion from $8.21 billion a year ago.

With iPhone sales showing tremendous strength and Apple implementing many shareholder friendly initiatives, has the company won over the naysayers and bears?

Cowen: Solid print and guidance better than feared

Timothy Arcuri, analyst at Cowen and Company favors shares of Apple after the company posted a solid quarterly result and subsequent guidance comments that were better than feared.

Arcuri noted that iPhone sales grew in an environment when there is plenty of chatter that an iPhone 6 launch is just around the corner.

“Based on our field work [the iPhone 6] looks ~30 percent larger than 5S at similar phases in the life cycle and 5S sell-through has been better than most feared,” Arcuri wrote in a note to clients on Thursday, while adding that wearable products could sell 20 million to 30 million units in its first 12 months of commercial launch.

Bottom line, Arcuri believes that Apple's new initiatives will help “move the needle” and improve Apple's P/E multiple that is still attractive at a 25 percent discount to some of Apple's large-cap technology peers.

Arcuri raised his full year fiscal 2014 EPS estimates to $44.05 from $41.70, largely due to the second quarter beat.

However, Arcuri is only slightly raising his 2015 EPS estimates to $52.82 from $52.00 “due wholly to a bigger buyback and no other changes to our model.”

Shares are Outperform rated with a price target raised to $630 from a previous $590.

Deutsche Bank: Just like the good old days

Sherri Scribner, research analyst at Deutsche Bank, like many investors remember the “good old days” when it was as close to a sure thing that Apple would blow investors and analysts away with strong earnings. This was one of those earnings reports.

Scribner was impressed with Apple's iPhone sales in China.

“The addition of China Mobile coupled with strong uptake of iPhone 4S led to an all-time quarterly record for iPhone sales in greater China,” Scribner wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.

iPhone unit sales were a “positive surprise” outside of China and there is still room for further upside, according to Scribner who also sees upside growth in emerging markets.

Apple continues to trade below market multiples and at an approximate 11 times Scribner's fiscal 2015 EPS estimates of $46.50. This is “unwarranted” according to Scribner, given the company's growth prospects and shareholder friendly activities.

Shares are Buy rated with an unchanged $650 price target.

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FBR: All around solid quarter

Scott Thompson, analyst sat FBR was impressed with Apple's overall solid quarter and a clear path towards innovation and growth.

“We believe Apple's success through the rest of the year will rest on its ability to innovate and execute, especially with the anticipated product refresh cycle in 2H14, and on execution of potentially sizable opportunities, such as continued iPhone sales into and through China Mobile.”

Thompson noted that a full quarter of iPhone sales through new partner carriers in Asia -- such as China Mobile and Docomo -- contributed greatly to the higher-than-expected iPhone sales. iPhone sales also reached an all-time high in BRIC countries.

Cash is king and Apple continues to raise the bar on returning cash to shareholders. Thompson believes that Apple's newly-introduced cash return initiatives will support shares for at least the next four to six quarters.

However, as much as cash is king, the next leg of Apple's growth is more likely to come through product innovations, and not cash distribution. With new product launches at least two quarters away, according to Thompson, Apple's “cash distribution makes the stock more defensive than many within our coverage.”

Shares are Outperform rated with an unchanged $525 price target.

Elsewhere on the Street

Avi Silver of CLSA reiterated a Buy rating with a price target raised to $695 from a previous $610.

Tavis McCourt of Raymond James reiterated an Outperform rating with a price target raised to $600 from a previous $550.

Ben Schachter of Macquarie reiterated an Outperform rating with a price target raised to $665 from a previous $630.

Amit Darayanani of RBC Capital Markets reiterated an Outperform rating with a price target raised to $625 from a previous $590.

Posted-In: Amit Darayanani Apple Apple EarningsAnalyst Color Earnings News Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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