Apple shares fail to outperform market this year

“Through three and a half months of market activity so far in 2018, Apple’s stock price situation is unusual,” Douglas A. McIntyre writes for 24/7 Wall St. “After being one of the top performing mega-cap stocks for years, it has only tracked the market.”

“Both Apple’s share price and the S&P 500 have risen about 1.5% this year. Apple has lacked a blockbuster product launch. Investors are worried the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X have lost sales momentum. Sales of the flagship iPhone X, in particular, have been disappointing, according to industry analysis.,” McIntyre writes. “A recent IDC research report on global PC sales showed Apple in fifth place based on sales in the first quarter. It sold 4 million ‘traditional’ PCs, and its market share dropped from 7.0% in the period last year to 6.6% in the most recent period.”

“Unless Apple has another huge product launch this year, there is nothing but better than expected earnings to press shares higher,” McIntyre writes. “Apple’s shares have not outperformed the market this year and may not in the near-term future.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is no proof that iPhone X sales are “disappointing.” None whatsoever. Just scattered reports (perhaps all based off one report) from a supplier or handful of suppliers that Apple has decreased certain component orders following the holiday quarter, as usual.

Even if a particular data point were factual it would be impossible to accurately interpret the data point as to what it meant for our overall business… There is just an inordinate[ly] long list of things that would make any single data point not a great proxy for what’s going on. Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 23, 2013

iPhone X was the best-selling smartphone in the world in the December quarter according to Canalys, and it has been our top selling phone every week since it launched. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus rounded out the top three iPhones in the quarter. In fact, revenue for our newly launched iPhones was the highest of any lineup in our history, driving total Apple revenue above our guidance range… The iPhone X was the most popular and that’s particularly noteworthy given that we didn’t start shipping until early November, and we’re constrained for a while. The team did a great job of getting into supply demand balance there in December. But since the launch of iPhone X, it has been the most popular iPhone every week, every week sales. And that is even through today, actually through January… We feel fantastic, particularly as it pertains to iPhone X. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 1, 2018<

Apple's job on the Mac under Cook is not great. At all. Apple's current CEO seems to have swallowed his company's marketing hook, line, and sinker that the iPad is the future of personal computing (which it actually is – eventually, not in its current state), so seems bound and determined to force the issue via the type of disinterest in the Mac that only a former Compaq parts-orderer could muster. In the hands of a more aggressive CEO, as opposed to just a caretaker CEO who’s proven repeatedly that he cannot take care of all of Apple’s product lines concurrently, the Macintosh would have much greater unit sales, market share, and profitability.

Apple CEO Tim Cook using his iPad on Monday, March 14, 2016 in his office at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA. (Photo: Michele Asselin for TIME)
Apple CEO Tim Cook using his iPad on Monday, March 14, 2016 in his office at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA. (Photo: Michele Asselin for TIME)

The company’s performance on the Mac or lack thereof aside, Apple has other catalysts beyond “better-than-expected earnings,” they have a looming a $245 billion repatriation and the subsequent company’s capital returns program update. That’s $245 billion with a “B.” That alone is more than enough to take the severely undervalued Apple Inc. to its rightful place as the world’s first true trillion-dollar company. Of course, they also have WWDC 2018 in June, new iPads, iPhones, and maybe even a Mac or two coming this year, among potentially other product and service announcements.


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