Stock Analysis

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Just Released Its First-Quarter Results And Analysts Are Updating Their Estimates

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) came out with its quarterly results last week, and we wanted to see how the business is performing and what industry forecasters think of the company following this report. The result was positive overall - although revenues of US$120b were in line with what the analysts predicted, Apple surprised by delivering a statutory profit of US$2.18 per share, modestly greater than expected. This is an important time for investors, as they can track a company's performance in its report, look at what experts are forecasting for next year, and see if there has been any change to expectations for the business. With this in mind, we've gathered the latest statutory forecasts to see what the analysts are expecting for next year.

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NasdaqGS:AAPL Earnings and Revenue Growth February 6th 2024

Following last week's earnings report, Apple's 43 analysts are forecasting 2024 revenues to be US$388.3b, approximately in line with the last 12 months. Statutory per share are forecast to be US$6.55, approximately in line with the last 12 months. In the lead-up to this report, the analysts had been modelling revenues of US$396.3b and earnings per share (EPS) of US$6.57 in 2024. So it looks like the analysts have become a bit less optimistic after the latest results announcement, with revenues expected to fall even as the company is supposed to maintain EPS.

The average price target was steady at US$200even though revenue estimates declined; likely suggesting the analysts place a higher value on earnings. That's not the only conclusion we can draw from this data however, as some investors also like to consider the spread in estimates when evaluating analyst price targets. The most optimistic Apple analyst has a price target of US$250 per share, while the most pessimistic values it at US$125. This is a fairly broad spread of estimates, suggesting that analysts are forecasting a wide range of possible outcomes for the business.

Looking at the bigger picture now, one of the ways we can make sense of these forecasts is to see how they measure up against both past performance and industry growth estimates. It's pretty clear that there is an expectation that Apple's revenue growth will slow down substantially, with revenues to the end of 2024 expected to display 0.9% growth on an annualised basis. This is compared to a historical growth rate of 10% over the past five years. Compare this against other companies (with analyst forecasts) in the industry, which are in aggregate expected to see revenue growth of 4.7% annually. Factoring in the forecast slowdown in growth, it seems obvious that Apple is also expected to grow slower than other industry participants.

The Bottom Line

The most important thing to take away is that there's been no major change in sentiment, with the analysts reconfirming that the business is performing in line with their previous earnings per share estimates. Unfortunately, they also downgraded their revenue estimates, and our data indicates underperformance compared to the wider industry. Even so, earnings per share are more important to the intrinsic value of the business. Even so, long term profitability is more important for the value creation process. The consensus price target held steady at US$200, with the latest estimates not enough to have an impact on their price targets.

Keeping that in mind, we still think that the longer term trajectory of the business is much more important for investors to consider. At Simply Wall St, we have a full range of analyst estimates for Apple going out to 2026, and you can see them free on our platform here..

And what about risks? Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Apple you should know about.

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