Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fiscal 4Q 2019 Final Estimates


As of Friday's close of $236.41, AAPL is trading at a 17.8x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (16.2x when excluding NTM net cash and dividends).

After a brief panic early this year, market is back at previous-2-years-or-so trend of looking ahead a couple of years and pricing in expectations of mid-high single digit growth, mostly driven by more efficient balance sheet and narrative shift to services—even if new ones will take several years to bear fruit—and against loud noise from trade and threats of regulation. This has allowed for a valuation gradually inching up to broad market multiples for the first time in at least 12 years.

Given this gradually more positive (or rather less negative) sentiment I'm extending my valuation multiple expansion towards 15x (was aiming for 14x) forward-looking EPS plus net cash and dividends over the next 3-5 years. Currently at just 12.5x up from 10x 2.5 years ago, and one point per year expansion rate beginning to slow down after next year.

Attention to mainstream user needs is a great tactical move on this pre-5G cycle: photography, battery life, speed, and price will sell more iPhones. Free exclusive content is just a nice perk for now but eventually a strong strategic advantage if they have a hit or two.


Detailed estimates:


3mo ending Sep19  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   62.9     -  2.83
Apple guide low    61.0  37.5  2.66*
Apple guide high   64.0  38.5  2.96*
My estimates       63.8  38.3  2.93 (4.52b shares)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fiscal 3Q 2019 Final Estimates


As of today's close of $204.50, AAPL is trading at a 15.5x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (14.0x when excluding NTM net cash and dividends).

Don't get fooled by the most boring quarters, like, ever. Another consecutive "no collapse" quarter is good, means last Q1 adjustments worked. Not sure why WS sees 3% rev decline in Sep after flat or slight growth in June, in any case, strong Q4 guidance may surprise (but no earns growth until Q1).

Emphasis on intriguing longer-term themes is great. Key behind-the-scenes platform and business model shifts, happening almost in slow-motion, into new services and broader ecosystem relationships eventually will have huge effects on long-term fundamentals, but ironically will be hard to notice for some time and confound most pundits.

Also hard to explain, so I'll leave it at that.


Detailed estimates:


3mo ending Jun19  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   53.4     -  2.10
Apple guide low    52.5  37.0  2.00*
Apple guide high   54.5  38.0  2.21*
My estimates       53.8  37.8  2.15 (4.59b shares)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Fiscal 2Q 2019 Final Estimates


As of Friday's close of $203.86, AAPL is trading at a 15.5x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (14.3x when excluding NTM net cash and dividends).


Highlights:

iPhone rev -15%/+2% annual growth in FY 19/20, low single digits thereafter.
Non-iPhone rev +16%/+10% annual growth in FY 19/20, high single digits thereafter.
Total rev -3%/+5% annual growth in FY 19/20, mid single digits thereafter.
Net income -9%/+7% annual growth in FY 19/20, mid single digits thereafter.
Quarterly dividend raised to 81/91 cents (+11%/+12%) in April 19/20.
Buybacks of $49b/$21b for FQ2/FQ3 ($63b authorized up to last Q).
$75b buyback authorization expansion, $80b buyback over 1y ending March 2020.
$65b buyback 1y ending March 2021, approximately $50b/y thereafter.


Detailed estimates:


3mo ending Mar19  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   57.4     -  2.36
Apple guide low    55.0  37.0  2.18*
Apple guide high   59.0  38.0  2.54*
My estimates       57.7  37.8  2.45 (4.62b shares)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fiscal 1Q 2019 Final Estimates


As of yesterday's close of $150.00, AAPL is trading at a 11.6x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (10.4x when excluding next-12-months net cash and dividends).


Projection highlights:

- iPhone revenue growth -10%/+3% in FY 19/20 (cf. -12% in FY16)
- Non-iPhone revenue growth +15%/+9% in FY 19/20
- Overall revenue growth -1%/5% in FY 19/20, mid-low single digits thereafter
- Net income growth -2%/4% in FY 19/20, low single digits thereafter
- Next report raises quarterly dividend to 81/92 cents in 19/20 (+11%/+14%)
- Buybacks of $8b/$60b for Q4/Q1 ($71b remained authorized as of Sep 2018)
- Expand authorization by $75b until March 2020, $65b until 2021, and ~$50b/y thereafter

Analysts are modeling insufficient buybacks, or don't believe in net cash zero promises from management, or still hope for big M/A. Implies ~8% upside to consensus EPS estimates.

My prior forward valuation multiple expansion of 0.25x per quarter will gradually taper starting after current quarter from 12x to 13.5x by 2022. Should be aiming at 15x but need to accomodate market sentiment in order to model future share reduction more accurately.


Detailed estimates:

3mo ending Dec18  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   84.3     -  4.19
Apple guid revis   84.0  38.0  4.16*
My estimates       84.1  38.0  4.17 (4.77b shares)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fiscal 4Q 2018 Final Estimates [UPDATED 10/19]


[This was originally posted on 9/10. Please see 10/19 update details below. As of today's (10/19) market close of $219.31, AAPL is trading at a 15.0x multiple on my next-twelve-months EPS estimate (13.9x when excluding next-12-months net cash and dividend).]


Posting a month early and before Wednesday's event, as promised, in order to test my assumptions and intuition into this cycle, as I did last year as well with satisfying results.

The most uncertain item for me this time is iPhone pricing. I'm modeling a modest reduction from last year prices. Hope Apple can achieve this, as it would allow for a more sustainable boost to unit growth over mid single digits and easily beating the record 231.5m units sold in 2015.

The other sources of uncertainty are the Mac and iPad product lines. I'm assuming a significant update (finally) to both lines, announced and available for purchase this week. My Mac projections may be optimistic but the effect on total revenue and earnings of any mistake on my part will be limited.

I expect a strong Apple Watch Series 4 update, helping with continued very strong Other Products revenue growth.

Finally, I've slightly pared back my buyback intensity estimates, and accelerated the gradual valuation expansion mentioned last quarter from 0.1 to 0.25 quarterly increases in the EPS multiple, which now goes to 15x by 2022. Of course, this more realistic valuation reduces the number of shares Apple will be able to retire, resulting in a moderation of FY19 EPS growth from 30% to 23%. However, this is still well above Wall Street analysts, who continue to underestimate the effect of buybacks given their 15% EPS growth estimates when compared to their 5% revenue growth for next year (I'm at 6% revenue growth).


Detailed estimates:

3mo ending Sep18  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   61.2     -  2.76
Apple guide low    60.0  38.0  2.67*
Apple guide high   62.0  38.5  2.84*
My estimates       62.0  38.4  2.83 (4.83b shares)