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)