The long-awaited debut of the Apple Watch may have been a little debacle in its own right, but it will not dent the tech giant’s earnings, analysts predicted ahead of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) 1Q15 report, due for release after bell today.
Apple’s shares had gained 1.97 percent to $132.86 in premarket trade as of 14:45 BST today. Year-to-date the company’s stock is up about 20 percent, while on an annual basis it has gained nearly 60 percent.
The Apple Watch, the first completely new device released since the Steve Jobs era, launched to demand that has vastly outstripped supply. And while that might signal that the appetite for Apple-ware is still alive and kicking, it also indicates how supply-chain and communications inadequacies can affect even the most valuable company in the world, analysts say.
A consensus of about 50 million annual sales for Apple Watch’s first year has emerged, although some experts argue that a figure of 20 million is probably a more likely forecast. However, poor logistics and communications caused an outcry amongst consumers, with the device unavailable for purchase in many retail outlets despite its “launch”, while some of those who preordered it may have to wait for months to receive their device.
Disappointing or not, the Apple Watch launch will have no effect on the company’s financial results for the three months through March. The results are to be released later today, and analysts expect earnings per share at about $2.19, an increase of 24 percent on an annual basis.
The Street has 14 strong buy, 20 buys, 12 holds and one sell on Apple stock, with an average price target of $141, CNBC reported today. Meanwhile, analysts polled by The Financial Times had a media target of $145.00, with 19 rating Apple as ‘buy’, 17 as ‘outperform’ and 15 as ‘hold’, while one had ‘sell’.