The Ratings Game: Apple faces ‘ominous’ setup heading into earnings, analyst warns

Apple Inc. faces “ominous headwinds” going into its next earnings report, an analyst warned Monday.

“In our view, the combination of a downtrodden economy plagued by pernicious inflation, an emboldened Huawei, a new iPhone family with only incremental
updates, and the maturity of the smartphone market, paint a bleak picture for iPhone trends,” Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. analyst Brian White said in a Monday report to clients.

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released all four of its iPhone models at the same time this year, which is a potential tailwind to September-quarter revenue growth relative to last year, when Apple conducted a staged launch. That said, White thinks the iPhone 15 cycle will be “uninspiring” given the maturity of the smartphone market and a tough macroeconomic backdrop.

The company is due to report results after the close of trading Nov. 2.

Read: Here’s what Apple’s iPhone 15 says about the world

White also worries about regulatory issues and escalating geopolitical tensions, which suggest “the darkest days of this downturn are ahead of us,” he said.

He nonetheless continues to rate the stock a buy, citing the company’s services business as one upbeat factor.

BofA Global Research analyst Wamsi Mohan also expressed some caution as he wrote of his expectations for a slight deceleration in September-quarter constant-currency revenue relative to what was seen in the June quarter.

“However, in our opinion, [revenue and earnings estimates], which declined earlier
this year, have likely bottomed out, and we do not expect further major negative
revisions barring a major recession,” he wrote.

Wamsi has a neutral rating on Apple shares, reflecting that the positive catalyst of a new product launch could be offset by sluggish trends in consumer spending.

Apple shares had clawed into positive territory in afternoon trading and were on track to snap a six-session losing streak, their longest since the period that ended Jan. 27, 2022.

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