From a note to client by analyst Aaron Rakers that landed on my desktop Wednesday:
Wells Fargo Analysis Supports High-60M Total 4Q19 iPhone Ship: As shown in the charts on the following pages, we have found a high historical correlation (R2 = 0.94) with Apple’s iPhone shipments, excluding China. If we were to apply this historical correlation for 4Q19, we would be left to estimate implied iPhone shipment (ex-China) to increase in the low-single digit range y/y, or implying the high-50 million range – we would note this is down from our prior analysis using the historical contribution of October + November data that suggested the low-60M range. Coupled with our prior analysis of internal China smartphone registrations (link to note; pgs. 15-16), we think this data could leave us to estimate total 4Q19 shipments implied in the high-60M unit range vs. our current estimate of 68.9M (street: 67.5M).
Maintains Market Perform rating and (soggy) $245 price target.
Cue the charts:
My take: Rakers is still counting iPhones.