Post-iPhone 6s and 6s Plus launch: What to expect from Apple's fourth quarter - earnings could send Nasdaq 100 to new high

Lynsey Barber
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Apple's in for another good set of numbers
Apple's in for another good set of numbers (Source: Getty)

Apple is expected to get a nice earnings boost in the fourth quarter from the debut of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in September.

Here's what to expect on Tuesday.

The figures

Earnings per share for the three months to the end of September are expected to come in at around the $1.87/$1.88 mark, up on $1.42 in the same quarter last year.

That's on revenue analysts forecast at around $50.1bn, up from $42.1bn in the same quarter in 2014 and at the top end of Apple's own forecasts.

Sales of the new iPhone models which went on sale on 25 September have been pegged at around the 49m to 51m mark.

What the analysts say

On the back of a bumper set of numbers for fellow tech companies Google, Amazon and Microsoft, the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped to a two-month high closing up 2.27 per cent to 5,031.86. That could continue with Apple potentially sending the Nasdaq 100 index to a record high.

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"Will an above-estimates from Apple and raised guidance help? Sure it will," Wedbush Securities' Michael James told Reuters. "But we could still get there without that happening. The power of the moves in some of these large cap tech stocks has been breathtaking."

Analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Financial speaking to CNBC, warned that a good set of iPhone sales this quarter could leave Apple short over the Christmas period, particularly with China included in the first wave of the new model launch, when sales for the country are usually counted in the next quarter.

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"The key number for Apple is going to be the forward guidance for the December quarter, because that is where the [comparisons] become so difficult. And if there is any hint that the iPhone cycle is beginning to slow, it's going to pull the stock lower," he said.

China's figures are also something to look out for as shipments in the world's largest smartphone market are expected to slow across the board according to IDC. Tim Cook has been bullish on Apple's performance in China however, sending an email about its "strong growth" during July and August when Black Monday hit.

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