Gene Munster's Take On Apple's Q2 Beat, June Quarter Guidance: 'Things Get Easier For Apple In The Back Half Of Year'

Zinger Key Points
  • June quarter guidance is a win, given Street was bracing for another quarter revenue decline or at the best flattish growth, says Munster,
  • Apple emphasized the importance of China, which it continues to see as a key market.

Apple, Inc. AAPL reported fiscal year 2024 second-quarter results that exceeded muted expectations and its stock launched into a relief rally, with the upside also attributable to the shareholder returns it announced. Deepwater Asset Management’s Gene Munster offered his take on the results and the information the management shared on the earnings call.

Relief Rally: Munster called the 7%+ spike in Apple’s shares post the earnings release as a “relief rally.” Delving into the potential reasons, he outlined the following:

  • Revenue and earnings coming basically in line with Street forecasts
  • CEO Tim Cook’s comments on CNBC that June quarter revenue will be up in single-digit percentage points
  • China sales declining by 8% year-over-year, less than the Whisper number (-12%)
  • Massive buyback of $110 billion, more than the $90 billion the Street was anticipating

The June quarter guidance, according to Munster, was a win, given the Street was bracing for another quarterly revenue decline, or at best flattish growth.

“Big Picture. Things get easier for Apple in the back half of the year,” said Munster.

See Also: Everything You Need to Know About Apple Stock

Earnings Call Takeaways: CFO Luca Maestri confirmed the June quarter revenue guidance on the call and said the single-digit percentage growth expectation is despite a 2.5 percentage point adverse forex impact. He also said Services revenue will grow by double-digits, similar to the growth rate seen in the first half of the year and guided gross margins to 45.6%-46.6%.

Munster said this is a sign that the company was not seeing signs of the EU changes impacting the Services business.

The fund manager also highlighted the comments Maestri made about capex spending for AI. The CFO said Apple splits investments between itself and suppliers, and that investments in data centers would take the same approach, using some of its own and some of the capacity from third parties.

Munster said this allays fears about a “Capex moment,” which many feared as Apple goes about building its AI infrastructure.

Apple emphasized the importance of China, which it continues to see as a key market, the tech venture capitalist said. The company also said it would diversify further into India, Saudi, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia where its markets hare was low, he added.

With the company stating that it would talk about how generative AI will be built into most of its products at the annual World Wide Developers Conference in June, Munster said, “The speed that Apple has shifted their message on GenAI is remarkable and the right decision.”

The Department of Justice probe remained an overhang for the stock and in the absence of any major impact from the probe, the stock could trade above $200, Munster said.

Apple ended Thursday’s session up 2.20% at $173.03 and rose another 6.06% in after-hours trading, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Read Next: ‘Not Something Steve Jobs Would Probably Do’: Gurman Says Apple Should Go Against The Grain And Lower iPhone’s Price Point

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