Later this afternoon, all eyes will be focused on Apple as the company releases its earnings report for the June quarter. What makes today’s earnings report so important is that Apple last quarter reported its first year-over-year decline in iPhone sales in history. That being the case, investors will be extremely interested to see if last quarter’s iPhone slowdown was an aberration or perhaps a sign of things to come.
Ahead of today’s earnings report, a number of analysts have come out with rather bearish takes on Apple’s financial situation. And perhaps the most negative stance comes from Colin Gillis of BGC Financial L.P. who, in a research note to investors, opines that Apple under the stewardship of Tim Cook has finally peaked.
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“Our opinion is that Apple has peaked under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook,” Gillis wrote in a note obtained by Bloomberg. “Our view that there is a risk that the upgrade rate for the next iPhone may slow even more than the upgrade rate cycle of 6s, which has been materially lower than the upgrade rate of the iPhone 6 as per the company.”
In turn, Gillis slapped shares of Apple with a “sell” while lowering the company’s stock target down to $85.
Personally, I think the doom and gloom scenarios surrounding Apple are once again overblown. The iPhone 6s may not be the hot ticket item that the iPhone 6 was, but it’s important to remember that the iPhone 6 represented the first time Apple released larger-screened smartphones. Consequently, it makes sense that the excitement and sales figures from the iPhone 6 would come in higher than the iPhone 6s. And looking ahead to the impending iPhone 7 release, the pool of iPhone users in the market to upgrade is larger today than it’s ever been before. Which is to say, the iPhone 6s lull Apple is currently experiencing may very well be nothing more than a temporary hiccup.
More broadly speaking, what truly matters is how Apple’s actual earnings pan out. Over the last few years, Apple has demonstrated a knack for leveraging its growing iPhone user base to increase its overall revenue from services, whether it be from Apple Pay, Apple Music or even the App Store. So while Apple’s iPhone sales figures will naturally be the main metric analysts are looking at, it’s just as important to take a close look at how Apple is managing to generate new revenue streams via services once an iPhone sale has been completed.