Following a vote of confidence from Warren Buffett, Gene Munster said that Apple has stepped into a new era. And, even though Berkshire Hathaway purchased nearly 75 million shares in the tech firm in the first quarter, that is only one sign of Apple’s changing story, CNBC reported.
Munster said that sales of Apple’s iPhone have now stabilized. And Apple’s formidable cash position could communicate to investors the possibility of more buybacks.
“We could be in front of a significant move higher in the stock,” Munster told CNBC. “We’re entering a phase of more visibility around the iPhone. There’s always going to be some level of anxiety, but not the stress [investors] have had in the past.”
Already, over the past week, shares in the tech company have rebounded – even amid concerns over the tempered pace of iPhone sales.
The news comes as Apple beat its second-quarter earnings estimates despite sluggish iPhone shipments: Apple revenue increased 16 percent year-on-year to $61.1 billion in the fiscal second quarter – its fastest growth in two years, and ahead of analyst estimates of $60.9 billion. Forecasts for next quarter’s revenue fell in the range of $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion, also ahead of Wall Street.
Apple sold 52.2 million iPhones in the fiscal second quarter, up a slim 2.9 percent from a year earlier and slightly below the 52.3 million that analysts had been looking for on average. That said, iPhone sales were well ahead of many of the diminished predictions of the last few weeks, as data from supplier component sales made the rounds among investors. Price per phone also came in a bit below the average investor consensus of $740, at $728 per phone.
Away from the core iPhone business, Apple reported record services revenue of $9.2 billion, a 31 percent growth rate year-on-year and a handy beat on analysts’ $8.3 billion forecast.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had noted that all of the services components – the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud storage and Apple Pay – posted record results in sales and growth of at least 25 percent year on year (though they did not break out any more specific numbers). Apple estimates that its services will be a $50 billion annual business by 2021.