Thursday, July 13, 2006

Calls of Note Part 1

- Shannon Cross & Robert Cross from Soleil's Cross Research comment on Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) ahead of results saying they have revised their model to reflect higher Mac shipments, somewhat offset by lower iPod sales. Firm believes the MacBook refresh has been very well received and expect strength in that category which should carry over into back-to-school. In addition, they expect strong gross margin for both Macs as well as iPod driven by q/q declines in commodity pricing (panels, flash, power supplies, etc.). Maintains Buy, but are lowering price target to $75 (based on approximately 25x F2007 EPS estimate net of cash interest, plus anestimated $13 per share in cash).

For the quarter, the firm estimates Apple sold 694,000 notebooks, up 40% both q/q and y/y. Believes the MacBook (launched on May 16, half way through the quarter) has been very well received and will remain strong through Christmas. In addition, F3Q was the first full quarter for the MacBook Pro, augmented by the launch of the 17 inch version in late April.

Notablecalls: Not actionable but good to know category.

- Piper comments on Macrovision (NASDAQ:MVSN) noting Q2 DVD unit shipments (North America) were down 6.2% y/y (source: Digital Entertainment Group - DEG). DVD unit shipments were down 1.8% in Q1, which was the first quarter of y/y DVD shipment declines. The DVD industry will likely continue to see declines in unit shipments over the next several quarters, prior to any measurable uptake of high def DVD.

Yet the firm is modeling for Macrovision Q2 DVD protection revenue to increase 9% y/y. They believe Macrovision will benefit from a favorable title mix in Q2. Specifically, most major titles in the quarter were from studios that use Macrovision's analog copy protection (ACP) on a 100% basis.

While actual unit shipments were down y/y in Q2, based on the title mix in the quarter, the firm continues to believe their June quarter DVD segment revenue (~30% of overall) is achievable
Maintains Market Perform and $25 tgt.

Notablecalls: I know Piper is defending the stock but if I were long MVSN, I'd be worried!

- Prudential comments on Wyeth (NYSE:WYE) following the unexpected "mid-year business update" Wednesday afternoon, ahead of its earnings that are scheduled for next Thursday.

Regarding guidance, WYE moved '06 EPS to "at least" the top of its prior $2.97 to $3.07 range (consensus has been at $3.08 already).

Regarding pipeline depression drug DVS-233, WYE said it won't now launch the drug until sometime in 2007 - the company also said it is running additional clinical trials, despite the fact that the DVS-233 application to FDA is already in its 7th month of review (out of 10). According to the firm, this raises the spectre that WYE is anticipating it will need the new data either for FDA sign-off (which mgmt said is not the case) or to maximize commercial success, or possibly both.

Raising o2006 EPS estimate by three cents to $3.10, assuming that the "business update" was supposed to be a pre-announcement for the quarter (almost all analyst questions, however, focused on DVS-233) - firm is assuming that spending is lower than they originally forecasted.
While there seems to be no end to the challenges facing the global pharmaceutical industry, these issues are well known and discounted at least partly into the drug names already. Firm's sense is that it won't take much positive news to get investors more excited in the group.

Notablecalls: I don't see WYE moving up on the news. The downside looks limited as well.

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