Apple 3Q18 Earnings Expectation Meters

The ingredients are in place for Apple to report an all-around solid 3Q18. If Apple reports more than $52.5B of revenue, 3Q18 would mark the company’s seventh consecutive quarter of accelerating revenue growth. A higher iPhone average selling price (ASP) driven by iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X will likely represent the largest driver behind Apple's year-over-year revenue growth. Services and wearables are positioned to represent Apple's second and third largest revenue growth drivers, respectively. 

The following table contains my Apple 3Q18 estimates.

The methodology and data behind my estimates are available to Above Avalon members. (Become a member to access my full 5,400-word Apple 3Q18 earnings preview that is available here. To sign up, visit the membership page.)

Each quarter, I publish expectation meters ahead of Apple's earnings release. Expectation meters turn single-point financial estimates into more useful ranges that aid in judging Apple's quarterly performance.

In each expectation meter, the gray shaded area represents my expectation range. A result that falls within this range signifies that the product or variable being measured is performing as expected. A result in the green shaded area denotes strong performance and the possibility of me needing to increase my estimates going forward. Vice-versa, a result in the red shaded area has the opposite effect, potentially leading me to reduce my assumptions going forward. 

I am publishing three expectations meters for Apple's 3Q18:

  1. iPhone unit sales
  2. "Other Products" revenue
  3. 4Q18 revenue guidance

My 3Q18 iPhone sales expectation range is for Apple to report between 41M and 45M units. A result within this range would be viewed as expected. If Apple reports iPhone sales greater than 45M units, results would be described as strong. A sub-41M iPhone unit sales result would be considered weak and likely lead to a reassessment of my iPhone unit sales expectations going forward. 

Apple's "Other Products" is a catch basin for a number of Apple products. "Other Products" include revenue from Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple TV, Beats headphones, iPod touch, and Apple-branded and third-party accessories. If Apple reports close to $4 billion of "Other Products" revenue, the implication is that Apple Watch and AirPods were strong sellers in 3Q18. In addition, Apple would have likely sold a respectable number of HomePods. A result closer to $3 billion of revenue would reflect somewhat weak wearables sales. 

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Apple's 4Q18 revenue guidance will include the initial weeks of Apple's largest product launch of the year. In terms of new iPhones, Apple is expected to unveil three flagship iPhones. Even if Apple ends up needing to push the launch for one flagship iPhone into 1Q19, sales associated with the other two flagship iPhones will likely be strong enough for Apple to provide solid 4Q18 revenue guidance. Revenue guidance that exceeds $60 billion would be viewed favorably while revenue guidance closer to $56B to $57B would likely lead to analysts wanting additional clarification from management on the earnings call. 

Above Avalon members have access to my full 5,400-word Apple 3Q18 earnings preview, which includes the methodology and data behind all of my financial estimates (four parts):

  1. Setting the Stage
  2. iPhone Estimates
  3. iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Other Products, and Services Estimates
  4. Revenue, EPS, Share Buyback, 4Q18 Guidance

Members will also receive my exclusive Apple 3Q18 earnings review (two parts: major themes and my full notes) once Apple reports earnings.

To read my full Apple 3Q18 earnings preview and receive my earnings review, sign up at the membership page