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"Can't Beat Market Forever": Analyst On Apple's Trillion-Dollar Question

05 January 2019

The rebound in equities suggests that "Asian investors shrugged off bearish news surrounding Apple, and took this as a buying opportunity as the valuation of (Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore) markets are close to four-year lows", Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets, said in an interview.

Stocks tumbled today on Wall Street, with technology companies suffering their worst loss in seven years, after Apple reported that iPhone sales are slipping in China.

The Apple news jolted markets and reinforced fears that the global economy is slowing.

He also pointed to a lower than expected number of iPhone upgrades in some developed markets and said the tech firm had launched an initiative to make it easier to trade in handsets in stores, finance the purchase over time, and get help transferring data. The tech giant is now anticipating revenue of $84 billion United States dollars for the final three months of 2018, down five percent from the same period in 2017 and $9 billion lower than Apple's original highest forecast for the quarter.

Some analysts point to Apple's dependence on iPhone sales to drive revenue and profits, even as it tries to diversify its product base and add services such as music and digital payments.

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Apple (AAPL) unexpectedly slashed its revenue forecast for the fiscal first quarter of 2019 on Wednesday, citing weakness in China and lower-than-anticipated iPhone revenue.

Shares of Apple Inc.

The CEO attributed much of the company's "shortfall" in its outlook to struggles in China that he pinned on the economy and "rising trade tensions" with the U.S.

Apple's problems in China are piling pressure on the company to find a way to grow in India, the world's hottest market for smartphones.

"This is just another little tea leaf as to the goings on behind the curtain in China and last night's PMI coming out weaker than people thought", said Kevin Caron, a senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors.

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"They're trying to aim at a very fine target", said Dollar, a former World Bank and U.S. Treasury Department official.

Apple says dropping demand for iPhones in China will cause its overall revenue to fall well below previous predictions.

The warning rattled already-volatile U.S. markets, further feeding worries about global economic growth that have dragged on stocks in recent weeks and turned 2018 into the worst year since the financial crisis for Wall Street. Apple shares fell by 10 per cent, or $15.73, to $142.19 yesterday, their...

Perhaps in part because there are no easy fixes, Apple failed to acknowledge the possibility that current iPhone prices are simply too high (stunningly, we note that iPhones prices are almost 5x higher than the average non-Apple smartphone sold globally).

"The argument could be made that they to some extent priced themselves out of the market", said Tom Forte, an analyst at D. A. Davidson. Mid-level officials from the Trump administration are scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks early next week. And revenue from consumption tax was down 72 percent in November from a year ago, Balding said.

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