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05 November 2018, 01:46 | Vera Richards
Apple shares sink as Xmas sales forecast disappoints investors
Chief Executive Tim Cook said after publishing third quarter results that sales were flat in India in the fourth quarter, which includes a month-long festive season culminating this week in Diwali - a bumper period for electronics sales. Those include increased government regulation, the escalating USA trade war with China and the specter of rising interest rates crimping economic growth.
However, the record-setting quarterly results were overshadowed by Apple warning that sales for the crucial holiday quarter could miss Wall Street expectations.
The tech giant share's fell sharply on Friday as investors digested a slowing sales picture coupled with reduced financial transparency, after management said that from now on it would withhold the key sales measure from analysts.
The move cost Apple dearly, helping to send shares down about 7 percent in after-hours trading.
The unexpected change raised suspicions that Apple might be trying to mask a downturn in the phone's popularity.
Apple wants to use the device to promote device upgrades among the already existing iPhone users.
"I can assure you it is our objective to grow unit sales for every product category that we have.but a unit of sale is less relevant today than it was in the past", said Apple CFO Luca Maestri on the earnings call.
Jeff Williams, chief operating officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California. That's a tough pill to swallow for Wall Street. "It's like suddenly telling people (in the U.S.) that they have to start driving on the left side of the road". That's a little bit lower than some of the most bullish analysts were hoping for.
Both analysts and investors used it to calculate the average selling price of Apple's devices and gauge the company's financial health.
The latest report offers some positive news for Apple in growing its services such as streaming music and Apple Pay, allowing the company to diversify its revenue stream in a saturated smartphone market. Reuters reports that Apple shares have fallen by six percent following the release of the earnings report, knocking $67 billion off the company's total value. The sales of iPhone in Q4 2018 failed to meet the analysts' expectations but generated enough of revenue to refrain critics from being so vocal.
The company sold 46.9 million iPhones in the quarter, generating revenue of $37.2 billion. Apple said they also would quit giving the number of iPads and Mac computers.
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Google Relaxes Its Iron Grip on Android
The new fees vary depending on country and device type, and it would apply to devices activated on or after February 1st, 2019. More high-end manufacturers such as Samsung are likely to be able to absorb the cost by increasing the price of their devices.