Apple Shares Tumble After CEO Tim Cook Issues Revenue Downgrade
04 January, 2019, 20:26 | Author: Brooke Harris
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 660 points as Apple stock dropped almost 10 percent - the biggest single day decline for the company since 2013 - just one day after it slashed its revenue forecast. While globally, Apple and Samsung continue to lead (third and first respectively with Huawei coming in second), the amount of competition in China has grown exponentially.
"If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100% from iPhone, and it is primarily in greater China", Cook told CNBC. US stocks have tumbled over the last three months as investors anxious that the economy might slow down dramatically because of a variety of challenges including the trade dispute and rising interest rates. "Apple is just outpricing itself-not only in the iPhone market, but also in the MacBook Pro market".
In a letter to investors on Wednesday, chief executive Tim Cook said the firm's sales problems were primarily in its Greater China region, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan and accounts for nearly 20 percent of its revenue.
Apple cut its revenue forecasts for the key end of year quarter late Wednesday, citing the unforeseen "magnitude" of the economic slowdown in China. Apple has been steadily raising the price of its newest and most powerful iPhones each year, with some models now topping $1,000.
But just as Apple hits a revenue speed bump, after it made a decision to keep its iPhone sales figures a secret, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei's handset sales are skyrocketing.
PRICE TAG Some analysts, however, questioned the impact of Apple's own actions, such as its unyielding pursuit of high selling prices for its products. Concern about the pace of growth in China, the impact of the USA tariff war and the general state of technology valuations all got an airing in the reaction to Apple's warning. And after several component makers in November forecast weaker-than-expected sales, some market watchers called the peak for iPhones in several key markets.
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What was the main cause of this sales miss? But Cook specifically said then that he "would not put China in that category" of countries with troubled growth.
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However, the company's woes in China have been exacerbated by a court decision that could potentially ban iPhone sales in the country.
The price gap is one reason Huawei surpassed Apple in smartphone sales from April through September past year to seize the number two spot behind industry leader Samsung, according to the research firm International Data Corp. It is the first time Apple has had to lower its estimates in over a decade.
Cook said Apple would not use negative external forces as an excuse for its performance, nor wait for conditions to get better.
That doesn't mean, however, that the trade war won't play an increasing role in their declining sales in China.
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