Friday, March 13, 2020

Skipping Detailed Quarterly Estimates for Rest of FY 2020

In memory of Turley Muller. You got this one pal.

As of Friday's close of $277.97, AAPL is trading at a 18.0x multiple on my FY21 EPS estimate (16.9x when excluding FY21 net cash and dividends).

I have no way of figuring out the impact to global demand from various COVID-19 containment and mitigation policies in over 130 countries, neither today nor in a month when I would normally publish these estimates. In fact, I don't think even Apple itself can, so I'm not expecting them to provide guidance for next quarter.

I don't think Chinese manufacturing was significantly affected beyond a month or so, but the worldwide network of component supply dependencies and the demand uncertainty probably means Apple should be cautious in ramping production of existing and new products until most of the world has gone through this disruption. The flip side is a likely boost to Services revenue and possibly overall margins so long as HW product margins are not affected too much. Also, since demand is not destroyed but postponed, the rebound next year should be quite impressive, even bleeding into 2022.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fiscal 1Q 2020 Final Estimates

As of Friday's close of $318.73, AAPL is trading at a 22.0x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (20.5x when excluding NTM net cash and dividends).

What's a fair multiple? I've dealt with this question several times before, so not going to dwell too much on justifying this move. I just wrote 6 long paragraphs on how P/E multiples are convenient but unreliable, a popular but widely misunderstood oversimplification of proper valuation theory, how multiples do relate to DCF modeling, its pitfalls (both PE and DCF), how I've tracked their empirical usefulness over the years, and on and on piling it with thick layers of much dull and dubious import. So I deleted all that (you're welcome).

My model's trailing multiple is up to 12x by now, and revised to aim for 18x over next 2-3 years (was going for 15x over 3-5y). So it goes higher faster. This remains relatively conservative (and likely rises too slow compared to market swiftness in rerating AAPL) given broad market forward multiples still higher: S&P 500 at 18.7, Tech 22, Cons. Staples 20, Cons. Disc. 22.3 (but beware all these are multi-decade highs). And peer mega tera cap tech still much higher.