COVID-19 impact: Apple temporarily lost $100 bn in stock value due to late iPhone launch
COVID-19 impact: Tech giant Apple temporarily lost close to $100 billion in stock value due to the late launch of iPhones. The company on Thursday reported the steepest quarterly drop in iPhone sales in two years. Apple fell over 5% at one point in after-hours trade, wiping $100 billion from its stock market value.
COVID-19 impact: Tech giant Apple temporarily lost close to $100 billion in stock value due to the late launch of iPhones. The company on Thursday reported the steepest quarterly drop in iPhone sales in two years. Apple fell over 5% at one point in after-hours trade, wiping $100 billion from its stock market value. Apple is known to launch new iPhones in September but delayed it this year due to coronavirus pandemic.
Even as booming sales of Macs and AirPods boosted overall revenue and profit above what analysts had expected, iPhone sales dropped 20.7% to $26.4 billion. Investors anticipated lower sales from the Cupertino, California company's bestselling product, but the hold-back was worse than expected, especially in China, where more consumers have access to 5G than in the United States or Europe.
Apple said revenue and profits for the fiscal fourth quarter ended on September 26 was $64.7 billion and 73 cents per share, compared with analyst estimates of $63.7 billion and 70 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. The new iPhone models were eventually launched on October 13, several weeks later than the usual timeline.
This means that no opening-weekend iPhone sales are included in the fourth-quarter results.
In an interview with Reuters, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said that he was "optimistic" about the iPhone 12 cycle based on the first five days of shipping data.
"5G is a once-in-a-decade kind of opportunity. And we could not be more excited to hit the market exactly when we did," Cook said. "At least in the U.S., the carriers are being very aggressive."
The iPhone 12 release timing drove down sales in Greater China by 28.5% to $7.95 billion. Cook said he expects the new 5G devices to help iPhone sales recover in China.
"What we're seeing in the early going in the first five days gives us a lot of confidence that China will return to growth in our fiscal Q1," Cook told Reuters.
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