Apple expects a blowout fourth quarter, says Morgan Stanley

Tim Cook

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Apple's spending plans suggest it expects to blow past most analysts' revenue projections for the December quarter, according to a new note from Morgan Stanley.

Apple's last quarterly report revealed $29.5 billion in off balance sheet commitments, and $7.3 billion in other commitments, at the end of the September quarter.

These usually represent money that Apple is planning to spend on parts and manufacturing equipment, so analysts can use these numbers to estimate how much Apple is expecting in sales.
Using that method, Morgan Stanley believes Apple is expecting $84.4 billion in revenue for the December quarter, which is 9% higher than current analysts' consensus. Apple has beat consensus by 1% in the last 2 quarters, and by 3% on average since 2013.

Apple is also planning $15 billion in capital expenditures - including things like manufacturing capacity - during the fiscal year, which maps to $252 billion in revenue during the year, or 3% above consensus.

Morgan Stanley has an "overweight" rating on the stock, meaning it expects Apple to outperform similar stocks, and a price target of $152.

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