Apple shares plunge after guidance cut

Person holding an Apple iPhone

Apple is still too dependent on the iPhone

The company (AAPL) announced on Wednesday that investors should expect lower revenues than those projected for the last quarter because sales in China were below those anticipated.

Why it's important: While Apple has blamed support for Chinese brands and a slowing economy on its revenue drop, analysts pointed out that the company itself may be to blame.

"We estimate if China sales went to zero that would reduce iPhone units by -44m and approximately ~$20-$30 per share in Apple stock price", the note stated.

Under the new guidance, Apple says revenue will be around $84bn, well short of the $89-93bn range Apple had estimated and a sizeable drop from the $88.3bn revenue haul Apple reported in Q1 FY 2018.

Apple's tendency to charge more for iPhones outside the United States has "led to slowing demand" in markets such as India, said Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Research.

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While disclosing a plunge in demand for the iPhone during Apple's recently completed quarter, CEO Tim Cook avoided any mention of whether increased iPhone prices might have played a role. Apple shares are down 9.27% in midday trading on Wednesday at $143.28. The news comes as USA earnings season looms around the corner. "As growths in China and Eurozone have been clearly slowing, investor fears that moderating global demand will start to dampen US growth momentum", she added.

"IPhone upgrades also were not as strong as we thought they would be", he said, meaning the sales of new models to current customers replacing their old phones.

"Futures immediately sold off. Apple is a 4 per cent position in the market and considered a bellwether and comments were that the US was fine, China was slower than expected".

"As the climate of mounting uncertainty weighed on financial markets, the effects appeared to reach consumers as well, with traffic to our retail stores and our channel partners in China declining as the quarter progressed", Cook added in his letter. Apple shares fell by 10 per cent, or $15.73, to $142.19 yesterday, their... "Apple is a great company". Apple has been steadily raising the price of its newest and most powerful iPhones each year, with some models now topping $1,000.

Peter Richardson, a research director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, said it was hard to see a catalyst that would help Apple recover lost ground in China.

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Those companies are increasingly reliant on Chinese sales.

Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in NY said Apple's update "reiterates worries that China and trade issues have not been resolved".

Both Apple and Bernstein Liebhard have been contacted for comment.

"It's not going to be just Apple", CEA chairman Kevin Hassett said in an interview on CNN.

"For a while now, there's been an adage in the markets that as long as Apple was doing fine, everyone else would be OK", said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com. The Trump administration responded by Apple products from the tariffs.

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