“Last month, I discussed whether tech giant Apple needed President-elect Donald Trump to deliver on promises for tax cuts and a repatriation holiday. The basis for my argument was that after a monster fiscal Q1 period, Apple would face tough times leading up to the iPhone 8 launch as consumers waited for the new device and the rumored lack of an iPhone SE refresh would hurt smartphone sales,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “Well, as we’ve seen with the Street several times in the past, analysts are now getting extremely worried as we approach the company’s earnings report in a couple of weeks.”

“The snowball started just before the end of the year when Nikkei reported Apple was going to cut iPhone production by 10%,” Maurer writes. “There was a similar report from Nikkei last year about cuts to a larger degree, and while the magnitude may have been off, it was a tough fiscal year for the iPhone. Just a few days later, an analyst at Raymond James cut his iPhone estimates, noting subdued consumer technology spending. Two negative notes may not seem like much given all the coverage of Apple, but things have really accelerated this week in the analyst community.”

“Now I’m not here today to ring the alarm bell or start some Apple is dying campaign,” Maurer writes. “The company is still in decent shape and should get back to revenue and earnings growth this year. However, investors shouldn’t be surprised if we see more negative reports like this, and it wouldn’t shock me to see more estimates come. There’s still almost three weeks until earnings, but it appears that the bear attack has already started.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The lower the bar for earnings and guidance, the better – even if it involves some short-term pain via ginned-up reports from unreliable media outlets and third-rate analysts.

Nikkei: Apple to decrease iPhone production 10% in first quarter of 2017 – December 30, 2016
Nikkei proclaims ‘iPhone 7’ Dead On Arrival; bemoans Apple’s ‘lack of innovation’ – May 12, 2016
Japan’s Nikkei, The Wall Street Journal blow it, get iPhone demand story all wrong – January 16, 2013
Did Apple reduce 4-inch Retina display orders due to improving yields? – January 15, 2013
Analysts: iPhone 5 demand ‘robust;’ ignore the non-news noise – January 15, 2013
Apple iPhone suppliers decline on report orders cut by 50% – January 15, 2013
Apple swoon erases $17 billion from stock market – January 14, 2013
Apple iPhone 5 production cut signaling a new product release? – January 14, 2013
Apple drops to 11-month low on old reports of component cuts – January 14, 2013
The strange math of Apple’s alleged massive iPhone 5 component cuts – January 14, 2013
UBS analysts: Apple iPhone component order reduction ‘old news’ – January 14, 2013
Apple pulls down U.S. futures – January 14, 2013
Apple shares drop below $500 after reported cuts in iPhone 5 parts orders – January 14, 2013