Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings: Will the Slump Continue?

Yosef Cohen is a Junior Financial Analyst at I Know First.

Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings


  • Apple is releasing its third quarter fiscal earnings on Tuesday, July 26th
  • It is likely that this quarter’s earnings will model last quarter’s declining earnings
  • We know that this quarter’s earnings will not be impressive overall but revenue from services will increase
  • The iPhone SE could have ambiguous effects on Apple’s earnings
  • Apple isn’t doing well in China and will likely not continue to do well
  • Low expectations for earnings may cause a surprise jump in stock prices if an impressive statistic arises
  • Apple is likely to be bullish in the long-run

Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings


With Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announcing its 3rd fiscal quarter earnings Tuesday after hours, investors eagerly await an Apple stock forecast before earnings. Apple is the largest tech company in the world. Some of their most notable products include the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. After last quarter’s slide and low predictions for this quarter, Apple is looking at a possible ephemeral drop in stock price after releasing earnings.

Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings

Omens From Last Quarter’s Earnings

Apple Stock Forecast Before EarningsLast quarter’s earnings were the first year over year decline in revenue since 2003. iPhone sales dropped 7.4 billion dollars or about an 18% decrease from the same quarter a year before. This is due to many people waiting for the next iPhone to release which bites into sales. Furthermore, it has been taking more time for people to upgrade their phones than it has in the past. Lastly, cheaper smartphone alternatives have been cutting into Apple’s margins in recent years. iPhones are Apple’s most lucrative product, so a drop in iPhone sales severely hurts Apple’s income statement. Revenue also declined from 58.01 billion dollars last March to 50.56 billion dollars this March for a 12.84% decrease. Besides for the iPhone, both Mac and iPad sales have been falling. The Mac hasn’t had a significant design change in several years causing PC sales to encroach on Mac sales. iPads sales have declined due to longer upgrade periods and the new, larger iPhones reduce the need to buy an iPad. On the other hand, one product has been growing within Apple: services. These services include the App Store, Apple Pay, Apple Care Apple Music, and iCloud. Services increased to the second to
Apple Stock Forecast Before Earningshighest revenue generator within Apple totaling 6 billion dollars for a 20% increase. This was mainly due to a rise in app store purchases and use of Apple Music. This will become more prominent in Apple’s net income over the next few years. After last quarter’s earnings Apple’s stock plummeted. Apple’s stock is still down 6.5% from then and 21% over the past year. It is very likely this quarter’s earnings will closely follow the trends set by last quarter’s which can hurt Apple’s stock tremendously in the short-run.

What We Know About this Quarter’s Earnings

Apple has released projected earnings for this quarter. It expects their revenue to be between 41 and 43 billion dollars and its gross margin to be between 37.5% and 38%. The projected revenue can show up to an 18% decrease year over year. iPhone sales are expected to fall 22% to 24.5 billion dollars. Moreover, Macs are expected to continue decreasing in sales as well. iPads may rebound with the new iPad Pro becoming more mainstream. The largest wild-card in this earnings (what may cause an increase in stock price) is the growth of profit through Apple services. Apple Music has 15 million paying subscribers as of mid-June which is up from 11 million in February. Apple Pay has also been adding one million new users each week since April. They also have over 10 million locations worldwide that accept Apple Pay. These services will likely show a strong growth this quarter and impress investors when Apple releases its earnings tomorrow.

Thumbs Up or Down on the iPhone SE?

Apple Stock Forecast Before EarningsAnother controversial topic regarding Apple’s earnings is the effect of the iPhone SE on profits. The iPhone SE starts at $399 and was made as a cost-efficient iPhone to attract new customers. The profit margin of this phone is much smaller than a regular iPhone, so unless it really brought in new customers it wasn’t worth releasing. A large problem is that customers who would’ve gotten regular iPhones might buy this more cost-efficient phone which loses Apple money. This iPhone could go either help Apple generate more revenue through bringing in new customers or hurt existing profits through a cheaper solution. This is one of the larger topics investors are keeping their eyes peeled on in this quarter’s earnings.

Rotten Apples in China

Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings

An area of weakness for Apple is its sales in China. Sales in the Greater China region have tanked 26% in the second quarter. This was part of the reason iPhone sales were so low last quarter. CEO Tim Cook blamed the strengthening of the Hong Kong dollar for decreasing iPhone sales. This accounted for a majority of sales, but there is still a trend showing how people are turning to cheaper smartphones in China for iPhone substitutes. Even the iPhone SE is expensive when smartphones are usually below $250 in China. China has also banned certain media services from Apple such as online books and movies which restrict making the most out of the iPhone. Apple’s market will likely continue to shrink in China which will hurt profits and subsequently Apple’s stock price.

Aim Low and Never Disappoint

Contrastingly, a strong, valid argument for Apple’s stock to increase after this quarter’s earnings is that expectations are already set very low. Everybody is expecting a grim report with lower revenue and iPhone sales which is meritorious of what will happen. But it is very possible that a strong revenue from the services sector can wow investors and cause Apple’s stock price to rise. Apple’s stock price is already pretty low in comparison to a year ago and is generally considered undervalued, so anything positive can cause a boost in stock price. Apple’s stock price already reflects a slow period of growth for Apple. A surprising statistic about revenue from services or iPhone SEs may just give the stock the boost it needs.

Peeking Forward


Besides for this quarter’s earnings, Apple’s stock price looks very promising in the future. The iPhone 7 and subsequent releases are expected to change fundamentals of the iPhone which will generate a lot of revenue for Apple. Services continue to grow exponentially in Apple as well. Pokémon Go is expected to be extremely lucrative for Apple as they receive 30% of the revenue brought in through in-app purchases. Other long-term projects such as Project Titan and Apple original content shows the possibilities for Apple’s future growth.


I Know First has predicted what would happen to AAPL’s stock price correctly many times. In this case, the I Know First algorithm gave a bullish signal of 17.13 for AAPL with a predictability ratio of 0.19 in a 7 day forecast. By the end of the forecast period Apple went up 6.53% showing I Know First’s accuracy in predicting stocks.

Apple Stock Forecast Before Earnings

I Know First

Apple stock forecast before earningsAs seen on Yahoo finance, most analysts rate Apple stock a “buy.” I Know First’s algorithm does what analysts can’t. It uses AI to determine whether a stock will increase or decrease by giving a signal strength (how large the increase or decrease will be) and a predictability ratio (the confidence level of the prediction). Our algorithm has predicted Apples stock movements correctly many times before. To see our next forecast subscribe to receive I Know First’s daily forecasts.