Friday, 18 January, 2019

Dow Falls 500 Points after Tim Cook Slashes Apple Revenue Forecast

An Apple store in China Modal Trigger Shutterstock
Kelvin Reese | 11 January, 2019, 05:28

Cook lowered the company's revenue guidance for the three months that ended December 29 to about $84 billion from as much as $93 billion.

Apple previously forecast revenues of $89 billion to $93 billion.

Cook attributed the primary drop in revenue to challenges in emerging key markets - mainly China - and a waning in the sales of iPhones.

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. In an interview with CNBC, Cook said the reason behind the iPhone's decline in sales in China is the result of trade tensions between the US and the country which puts additional pressure on China's economy, leading to fewer customers interested in buying a new phone.

So far, we haven't heard anything as to what Apple plans to do in order to bounce back from this unexpected hit.

Apple, which was until recently the largest publically trade company in the U.S., is now worth less than Microsoft, Amazon and Google's parent company, Alphabet. "The government-reported GDP growth during the September quarter was the second lowest in the last 25 years".

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Along with macroeconomic challenges, he wrote, "we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance". The company also sees the traffic to retail stores and partner sellers in China declining in the quarter.

The price-target cut came as BMO lowered its estimates for Apple's fiscal 2019 and 2020 revenue and earnings per share to reflect the revenue warning.

Cook blamed the soft iPhone revenue on lower-than-expected demand in China and other emerging markets, as well as in "some developed markets". It had, after all, predicted a record holiday quarter. Apple tends to set its prices in USA dollars and charge a broadly equivalent amount in local currencies. "Build those plants in the United States.'.China is the biggest beneficiary of Apple, more than us, because they build their product mostly in China".

Conversely, on November 1, 2018 CEO Tim Cook stated during Apple's fourth quarter 2018 conference call, that "o$3 ur business in China was very strong last quarter".

China's "economy began to slow there for the second half", Mr Cook said during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday afternoon.

"We believe there are other factors broadly impacting out iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, U.S. dollar strength-related price increases, and some consumers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements", Cook explained.

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