Apple Disputes Goldman Sachs Analyst Report Claiming Free Year of Apple TV+ Will Impact Earnings
Goldman Sachs this morning cut its target price for Apple's stock from $187 a share to $165 a share, claiming Apple's plans to give away free access to its upcoming Apple TV+ service will cause a "material negative impact" on earnings because of how the accounting for the service will work.
Goldman Sachs' Rod Hall said that Apple would account for the one-year free trial as a combined hardware and services bundle discount, which would show lower hardware profit margins.
"We believe that Apple plans to account for its 1-year trial for TV+ as a ~$60 discount to a combined hardware and services bundle," wrote Goldman analyst Rod Hall, in a note.
"Effectively, Apple's method of accounting moves revenue from hardware to Services even though customers do not perceive themselves to be paying for TV+. Though this might appear convenient for Apple's services revenue line it is equally inconvenient for both apparent hardware ASPs and margins in high sales quarters like the upcoming FQ1′20 to December," Hall added.
Apple in a statement to CNBC disputed Goldman Sachs' negative call and said that it does not expect the introduction of Apple TV+ to have an impact on its financial results.
"We do not expect the introduction of Apple TV+, including the accounting treatment for the service, to have a material impact on our financial results," the company said in a statement to CNBC.
Apple is planning to provide one free year of Apple TV+ access to all customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac, aka any device able to play the service's TV shows and movies.
For those who do not get Apple TV+ for free through a device purchase, Apple is charging $4.99 per month for the entire family. Apple TV+ is set to launch on Friday, November 1.