Shares of three technology giants soared Friday after earnings, but one analyst believes Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) lacks a catalyst for a similar spike when it reports next week.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) all beat quarterly expectations after the bell Thursday, partly on strength in growth segments like cloud computing or mobile advertising. But the smartphone market, which drove Apple’s momentum in recent quarters, has slowed, said Brian Blair, principal at Grays Peak Capital.
“Apple is experiencing a sector that is slowing. Smartphone growth is slowing globally and investors have been pulling back from it because, while Apple’s involved in a lot of exciting areas, none of them are moving the needle any time soon,” Blair told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
Blair references Apple’s newer ventures, like possible car software and the reported development of an electric car. He said that since those may not make money for years, the coming quarters hinge on iPhone sales.
Apple faces tough year-over-year unit sales comparisons in the coming quarters. Despite the recent release of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, it could struggle to meet the lofty standard of 74.5 million units sold in last year’s holiday quarter, Blair said.
“That’s going to be the issue and I think you’re going to see it in the guidance,” he said.
Outlook for the holiday quarter will be crucial next week, said Amish Shah of SierraMaya 360. He said he believes, though, that Apple will beat estimates for the period it reports.
Shah noted that Apple should see a climb through the end of the year, especially if it gives any indications about entering the auto business.
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