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Why Stifel Hiked Apple iPhone Quarterly Estimates 11%

Why Stifel Hiked Apple iPhone Quarterly Estimates 11%
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Stifel said it is bullish on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone sales for Q1, raising its estimates by 11 percent to 59.6 million sales. The Street consensus is 54.9 million. Stifel's based its hike primarily on China, saying that China represents "the most significant swing factor in upside for the March quarter."

In Q4, Apple reported a 2x year-over-year increase in Chinese iPhone sales, a trend that Stifel expects will continue. Notably, while Stifel forecasted that Chinese smartphone shipments are "likely" to come in lower versus expectations, the new iPhone 6 and 6+ have "sold briskly." Further, Stifel said that these strong sales should continue, despite the fact that Q2 sales are "typically lower […] as consumers anticipate the release of a new phone in September/October." The analysts reaffirmed their Q2 estimates of 42.3 million units, while noting that the risk here is to the upside.

While Stifel said that developed market sales will be "solid," the analysts noted they are also interested in iPhone growth in Brazil and India into the second quarter. Finally, Stifel said that Apple's commentary with regard to the iPhone 6 and 6+ will be critical, particularly as it relates to Apple's low-teens comment coming out of Q4.

This year, Apple gained nearly 17 percent to hit an all-time, split adjusted high of $133.60. The stock last traded at $129, up 0.3 percent on today's trading session.

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Posted-In: Apple StifelAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Tech Best of Benzinga


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