Apple: Despite The Troubled Quarter, Piper's Munster Stays Bullish
While Apple disappointed the Street with its December quarter results, some of the morre steadfast bulls on the stock are sticking to their guns. There will be more to come, but here are some of the early comments from the sell-side analysts. Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray: "While iPhone numbers were mildly disappointing, our initial look at Apple's December quarter results does not sway our long term confidence in the iOS ecosystem," he wrote in a quick research note on the report. "The December iPhone number, which we believe is the most important number for the company, came in at 47.8 million compared to the 50 million buy side bogey we talked about in our previous note. For March, the company guided to $41-43 billion in revenue compared to our expectation for a $41 billion guide. Net-net, while we believe the iPhone number may appear disappointing, the slightly better guide implies that investors may not need to continue to worry about noise regarding continued iPhone build decreases for March." Peter Misek, Jefferies: He writes that gross margin and EPS topped consensus but fell short of his estimates. He notes that iPhone shipments in particular were disappointing. He adds that March quarter guidance was "typically conservative" in terms of revenue but that gross margin guidance was better than many feared, while implied EPS "may be a bit light." Brian White, Topeka Capital: "Trading at less than 7x (ex-cash) our CY13 EPS estimate and a sales outlook that is inline with our projections (but below the Street), we believe there is quite a bit of bad news priced into the stock at current levels," he writes. On the other hand, he notes that iPad and Mac units were well short of his most recent estimates. AAPL in late trading is down $54.01, or 10.5%, to $460.