Sunday, October 25, 2020

Fiscal 4Q 2020 Final Estimates

As of Friday's close of $115.04, AAPL is trading at a 27.5x multiple on my FY21 EPS estimate (26.6x when excluding NTM net cash and dividends).

I expect record-strong Dec quarter guidance should offset any perceived weakness from roughly inline Sep results due to est. ~$6b iPhone and ~$1b AppleCare revenue push-back (as hinted in last call but perhaps not fully digested by analysts/investors). This offset gets picked up mostly in current 1Q but some also in 2Q ending in March due to late Oct/early Nov launch setting up an unusual 2Q as first full quarter of sales this cycle, a privilege normally reserved for the December quarter.

All product line projections revised upwards over NTM, particularly Mac and iPad which in turn feed back to boost mid/long-term growth for all other revenue segments thanks to my loopy modeling of installed base/ecosystem interdependencies. Modeling very strong NTM iPhone growth due to easy comps, with continued strength over next 2-3 years given 5G rollout spread over several cycles.

Beyond that it's anyone's guess but tentatively allowing for sustainable, long-term growth of high single-digits in revenue and low double-digits in EPS (was mid/high single digits). This boost would then generate enough cashflow to maintain recent ~$75b strong pace of buybacks even after "net cash neutral" goal is met in a few years, yet the higher projected stock price prevents a similar EPS leverage benefit as in recent years at half-price discounts.

As for valuation, such a level of growth if truly sustained long-term (5y) would likely justify further expansion beyond my admittedly conservative 20x multiple, but I've chosen not to bake this in just yet, at least until the more ambitious growth trajectory gets validated over the year or so after the exceptionally scorching March outlier is behind us.

Detailed estimates:

3mo ending Sep20  Rev$B   GM%  $EPS
----------------  -----  ----  ----
Analysts consens   64.2     -  0.71
My estimates       64.8  37.9  0.73 (17.2b shares)