Sales at Apple's Taiwanese suppliers fell 13% in JuneJuly 9, 2012: 9:50 AM ET
Weakness among their other customers may be partially to blame, says analyst
FORTUNE -- Topeka's Brian White, who tracks the performance of a collection of Taiwanese electronics suppliers as a "barometer" of Apple's (AAPL) future performance, shared some bad news with his clients Monday morning.
With only one company in his "Apple Monitor" not yet reporting, sales among these suppliers were down 13% month over month in June, compared with an average 1% increase over the past seven Junes.
For the June quarter, sales among these suppliers were down 8% sequentially, well below the 8% uptick in the same quarter over the past five years but still above the guidance Apple offered in April, which according to White called for a 13% decline.
White is nonetheless sticking with his $1,111 price target for Apple -- one of the highest we've seen. He points out that some of the decline among Apple's suppliers may be due to the weakness of their other customers' sales, not Apple's. And he concludes on a positive note:
We continue to believe that there is no better tech company to own during this uncertain environment, and heading into the second-half of the year, than Apple. Even during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, Apple grew revenue by 40% in CY08 and 20% in CY09 versus declines of 20-30% across the tech world. This year is also unique in that we believe Apple is poised for the biggest second-half product launch in its history with our expectation of an iPhone 5 and an "iPad Mini", combined with the potential for an Apple TV. We also look forward to the potential addition of China Mobile (CHL) during the first half of 2013, providing plenty of excitement for investors. (emphasis ours)