Welcome to earnings season from Apple land.
Here’s what you need to know.
The stock may be too cheap to ignore.
Apple (AAPL) gained smartphone market share in the June quarter, pulling even with rival Samsung. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners say that Apple accounted for 36% of US activations in the quarter, compared to 63% for Android.
Meanwhile, RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanan just pointed out that Apple’s rapidly growing services business, including the App Store, AppleCare, iCloud, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Pay and the recently-acquired Texture digital magazine app, could account for nearly a third of revenue and more than half of its profit by 2025.
“Services is on track to become a roughly $50 billion business by 2020, and we think Apple eventually transforms from a device to a services company,” said Daryanan. “By 2025, we could see Apple looking at iPhones as merely a means of expanding the installed base with the real monetization being done via services.”
Despite these new positive wrinkles, the stock only trades for only a bit over 10 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). That looks too cheap, especially ahead of Apple’s efforts in augmented reality. Earnings are expected on Jul. 31.
Corning (GLW) just introduced Gorilla Glass 6, the most durable smartphone glass ever. It survives drops from higher heights and has been engineered to survive multiple drops.
A recent worldwide consumer study showed that, on average, people drop their phones seven times a year, with more than 50% of the drops occurring at one meter or less. Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5.
In lab tests, Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 drops from one meter onto rough surfaces and is up to two times better than Gorilla Glass 5. Under the same test conditions, competitive glass compositions, such as soda lime and aluminosilicate, did not survive the first drop.
Of course, in the real world iPhones and Gorilla Glass have survived a 500-foot fall from a helicopter, a 1,400-foot fall from a small airplane, and even a 450-foot fall from one of the tallest amusement park rides in Orlando – without a case!
Corning will report earnings next Wednesday before the open. Analysts are looking for $2.69 billion in revenues and 37 cents a share. September quarter guidance should be for $2.92 billion and 49 cents a share.
The stock is a buy under $31 for the phone industry’s 5G cellular build-out, followed by the smartphone upgrade to use 5G services. My first target is $60 by 2020.