Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Horace Dediu's estimates for Apple's first quarter of 2012

December 9, 2011: 7:54 AM ET

The creator of Asymco.com is looking for 67% growth in sales and 91% in earnings

Source: Asymco

Like most independent analysts, Asymco's Horace Dediu got clobbered last quarter when Apple (AAPL) reported earnings that grew by "only" 52%. (See chart at right).

As a result, the best estimates last quarter turned out to be those submitted by the Wall Street analysts with the worst Apple track records. (See our Q4 2011 Earnings Smackdown here.)

But the factor that held down Apple's sales last quarter -- customers waiting for the new iPhone 4S -- created a pent-up demand that is expected to drive record earnings and revenue this quarter.

How big a record? That's the $40 billion question. Dediu, an independent with an unusually large following (see here), filed his Apple estimates for Q1 2011 on Friday, along with explanations of how he arrived at them. You can follow -- and comment on -- his reasoning here.

His numbers (with year/year growth in percentages):

  • iPhone units: 35.7 million (120%)
  • Macs: 5.2 million (27%)
  • iPads: 14.7 million (100%)
  • iPods: 13.6 million (-30%)
  • Music (incl. app) rev. growth: 22%
  • Peripherals rev. growth: 25%
  • Software rev. growth: 25%
  • Total revenues: $44.6 billion (growth: 67%)
  • GM: 42.0%
  • EPS: $12.3 (91%)

For the record, the current consensus on Wall Street, according to Thomson Reuters, is for Apple to report earnings of $9.75 on revenues of $37.99 billion -- more than $6.6 billion less than Dediu's estimate. Last quarter, the Street was right and Dediu was wrong. I wouldn't bet on that happening again anytime soon.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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