Ap­ple’s stock sinks as high hope for iPhone X sales fade

Ripon Bulletin - - Local / State -

CUPERTINO (AP) — Ap­ple’s stock is back­track­ing from its re­cent highs amid mount­ing con­cerns that iPhone X sales will fall short of the high hopes for a de­vice that brought fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy and a $1,000 price tag to the com­pany’s flag­ship prod­uct line.

Spec­u­la­tion about dis­ap­point­ing de­mand for the iPhone X have been swirling for the past week, con­tribut­ing to a 6 per­cent de­cline in Ap­ple’s stock since it hit an all-time high of $180.10 on Jan. 18. The shares lost $3.55 to close Mon­day at $167.96, trans­lat­ing into a nearly $60 bil­lion loss in the com­pany’s mar­ket value since the stock last peaked.

Con­crete ev­i­dence of how the iPhone X is far­ing should emerge Thurs­day when Ap­ple is sched­uled to re­lease its fis­cal firstquar­ter earn­ings. The pe­riod spans from Oc­to­ber through De­cem­ber, cov­er­ing the early Novem­ber re­lease of the iPhone X and the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son that typ­i­cally brings Ap­ple’s big­gest iPhone sales of the year.

Ap­ple didn’t re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Mon­day.

For now, many in­vestors ap­pear to be fo­cus­ing on an­a­lyst com­ments and media re­ports that Ap­ple is dra­mat­i­cally re­duc­ing its iPhone X or­ders with its sup­pli­ers.

J.P. Mor­gan an­a­lyst Narci Chang said last week that man­u­fac­tur­ing of Ap­ple’s flag­ship phone could be cut in half dur­ing the first three months of this year in re­ac­tion to weak­en­ing de­mand. But RBC Cap­i­tal Mar­kets an­a­lyst Amit Daryanani be­lieves Ap­ple’s re­ported iPhone sales dur­ing the past quar­ter will be higher than an­tic­i­pated and the pro­jec­tions for the cur­rent quar­ter won’t be as lack­lus­ter as many peo­ple fear.

The iPhone X is un­like any­thing Ap­ple has ever made in the prod­uct line’s 10-year his­tory. It fea­tures an OLED screen that spans from one edge of the de­vice to the other and dis­plays im­ages in more vi­brant col­ors. It also re­lies on tech­nol­ogy that rec­og­nizes a user’s face to un­lock the de­vice and an­i­mate emoji’s.

In­vestors have been count­ing on the iPhone X to be a huge hit, de­spite its un­prece­dented start­ing price of $1,000.

Ap­ple also re­leased two other new mod­els in Septem­ber, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which are sim­i­lar to its 2016 mod­els, but sell for 20 to 30 per­cent less than the iPhone X. Nei­ther of those phones has the fancier dis­play screen or fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy fea­tured in the iPhone X.

An­a­lysts, on av­er­age, es­ti­mate that Ap­ple sold 79 mil­lion iphones in the past quar­ter, gen­er­at­ing rev­enue of $60.1 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Fact Set. That trans­lates into an av­er­age sales price of $760 per iPhone, a 10 per­cent in­crease from the same time in the pre­vi­ous year when Ap­ple sold about 78 mil­lion iphones at an av­er­age price of $694.

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