Apple’s earnings warning means CEO Tim Cook now has a major credibility problem

“Apple CEO Tim Cook and his management team should read the coverage of their mind-blowing warning to every investor on the planet on Apple News and then ask: ‘Should investors trust us right now? And, how can we regain that trust,'” Brian Sozzi writes for Yahoo Finance. “No doubt January 2, 2019 will go down as one of the worst days in Apple’s history… [it] amounts to a complete smashing down of the reset button on how Wall Street and the average investor views Apple.”

Cook and his management team “failed to keep it real with investors on what they were seeing in iPhone demand data late in 2018. Simply no longer providing unit sales data wasn’t enough of a signal to investors that something was wrong, bottom line,” Sozzi writes. “As a result, Apple’s stock could be ‘broken’ until credibility is restored.”

“Apple said in a filing released after market close Wednesday that it now sees first quarter revenue of about $84 billion. It previously anticipated $89 billion to $91 billion,” Sozzi writes. “But a little more than two months ago Cook and Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri were singing from a different hymn sheet. Judging by their comments on Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter earnings call on November 1, Apple was in fine standing around the globe. Interest in new iPhones was running high.”

“The bottom line is that Cook & Co. temporarily must be viewed skeptically by Apple’s entire investor base. Stock analysts’s musings be damned. Cook & Co. must lay it all out on the table when the company officially reports earnings in coming weeks,” Sozzi writes. “If Cook & Co. don’t do these things, their new credibility problem will likely rage on for most of 2019.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unfocused, hubristic mismanagement deserves comeuppance. Let’s hope the humiliation being heaped upon them today and in the days to come refocuses the minds in Apple’s C-suite as if Steve Jobs himself were once again standing before them demanding answers, excellence, and timely performance.

Loup Ventures: We continue to expect AAPL to outperform the rest of FAANG in 2019 – January 3, 2019
Open thread: Does Apple need new leadership? – January 2, 2019
CEO Tim Cook on why Apple lowered first-quarter revenue forecasts – January 2, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook issues public letter to investors, lowers guidance – January 2, 2019


    1. I came here to say this. I see I’m late as always.

      This is an especially ludicrous turn of phrase coming from MDN, who without fail takes the “nothing to see here, move along,” position until the failure or negligence is completely indisputable, concedes an isolated miss by Apple and returns to the stump the next day.

      Credibility has been shot for some time. The leadership’s words and the company’s performance are out of sync. Production-wise this has been clear for years — product quality is not just down, it’s DECLINING — and now this clear financial miss after paying misleading lip service to the stockholders for months.

      Let’s see if there’s anybody else on the bench who can run this company right. If not, might be time to SIDAGTMBTTS.

      1. I just don’t see anyone inside the company presently looking like a credible replacement. Cook looks increasingly deluded and out of touch, meanwhile who could be a candidate from outside I wonder who could gain acceptance. Now that Cook is looking like a dead man walking the gradual build up of mis steps in recent years is seriously coming home to roost. Can see things getting worse before they get better because Cook has been found out as lacking as an efficient leader and that’s the one quality that qualified him for it in the post Jobs era with not a shot of charisma or dynamism in his blood.

  1. As I always said, I never trusted Tim Cook. There is something about him. I did not know why but he always came across to me as a ruthless and cunning manager, always thinking things politically and from a bean counter’s view. He sees everything thru $ sign.
    I posted un the “Open thread: Does Apple need new leadership?” thread the 95 interviews of Steve Jobs. My take was there were no ways Jobs intended to make Tim Cook as a long-term chief. He was assigned as a caretaker president, and Job’s old buddy in NeXT days, Scott Forstall, was the closest thing to Jobs. Every time I watched Tim Cook’s interview, including the latest one by CNBC, he was always unfocused, with a lot of words and gibberish but I did not understand what exactly he wanted to convey. In most cases, the interviewers knew so much better and what questions to ask etc. Something would happen. If his team should continue to reign, it’s the time to give up on Apple we used to know. They already lost the important culture that we could find anywhere else. End of an era indeed.

    1. With all due respect to most all !

      Bashing Tim for whats mainly economic problems is a Joke. !
      The problem is mainly China folks .. not Tim…. and in the same situation Steve could not have done better either.. (but im sure the worshipers are too blinded to get it ! If Steve was alive the world would not have any problems.. sight ! )

      Bunch of cry babies. Waiting for an excuse to scream and yell .. because there are no ‘Mac Pros’ …well there will be this year.. lets see what u cry about after that.

      Tim has done a great job for the most part. ( sure there are issue, there were at Steves time too and always will be )

      Read the following too..while keeping in mind how far Tim has taken Apple in almost a decade. Facing and dealing with huge transition issues: Steves passing, the move to the campus, and Apples astronomical growth . ( wearing blinders.. will only do one thing… keep u blind )

      “While we are disappointed to be falling short of our quarterly revenue goal, our fiscal first quarter was also a record setter for revenue from Services, Wearables and the Mac. iPad revenue grew double-digits over the year-ago quarter, and iPhone activations in the U.S. and Canada set new Christmas Day records. We expect to set all-time revenue records in key markets including the US, Canada and Mexico, Western European countries including Germany and Italy, and countries across the Asia-Pacific region like Korea and Vietnam. Our worldwide installed base of active devices also hit a new all-time high, reflecting the loyalty of our customers and their appreciation for the work you do.”

      PS.. scott forstall as CEO. Is as big a joke as anything iv heard from Tim haters.

      The guy needed to be protected and babied at Apple..that is not leader material.
      He was negatively polarizing.. not leader material.
      His IOS vision was shortsighted.. massively so and screwed up other things like maps massively .
      Since his departure he has produces a stupid play and consulted Square, that is it! Yep, that shows the right drive and scope for someone running the behemoth Apple..

      Some comments are truly a joke and so simplistic and naive.

      Read the quote again..while u all senselessly cry and moan, and keeping in mind the following fact as well.

      The revised revenue of 84 billion makes for Apples 2nd highest quarterly revenue Ever !

      Perspective folks.. perspective..

      Panic is such a blinding bitch ! Wow

      1. Yes I do agree about the perspective and as I have said before he was the right man in the list Jobs era. But these paste few years have deeply revealed his limitations too the losing of the sitting room as things stand and the associated loss of Siri as the Assistant on everyone’s lips and reflecting a potential future technical behemoth replaced by Alexa. That got me, it was inexcusable and revealed his lack of vision. A sign of great worries over the future perhaps if things continue as they are. How to change though that’s the big question and an equally worrying one.

      2. I’m sure Tim Cook is a great “Riverboat captain” excellent at navigating when waters are relatively calm and in his bailiwick. However, he had been thrust into the role of CEO which is more akin to being a “Sea captain” and the storms currently coming at all companies by way of Trade Wars, instability of major markets and relatively inflexible pricing is taking a toll. Perhaps it is time Tim Cook starts grooming a ‘captain’ more suited to the foreseeable future.

      3. Jimbo, you do not really believe the problem is China as Tim is trying hard to make us believe, do you?
        Nowhere in any of Tim’s statements on this matter, did he ever mention even once the pricing issue of iPhones.
        How do we reconcile it?

    2. Amen. Certainly the most important Apple message of the day, KenT. Agree no one on the planet is more qualified than Scott given his resume, accomplishments and close working relationship with Steve developing the most important tech products for over two decades. Compare his many accomplishments to political SJW bean counter Cook and it’s really LAUGHABLE, not even a contest and sad story at the same time. The Apple apologists have lost ALL critical thinking skills and all we read from them is defensive opinion for seven years now. Well, no way Jose that will move Apple onward and upward. The BOD is our only hope, as they paved the way for the second coming of Steve when they canned Amelio. Here’s hoping history repeats itself…

  2. Tim Cook NOW has a major credibility problem?

    Tim Cook has had a credibility problem for several years and that problem has been accelerating over the past two years.

    Just look at AirPower — oh you can’t. It does not exist yet despite being promised for well over a year.

    Just look at the new Mac Pro — again, you can’t. It does not exist even though we were told about 20 months ago one was already in development.

    And the list could go on and on and on.

    1. We are discussing credibility as far as the investment community is concerned. On that front, Apple kept reliably delivering on its revenue, earnings, and capital return program. Investors are not tech nerds and generally don’t care that the Mac Pro is 3 years late.

      1. Unfortunately the investor community has been skeptical of Cook’s transparency and forthrightness for years now, he has blown it before only on smaller scale. It has come time to clean house, starting with head of design and innovation – Jony Ive.

      2. The current Mac Pro computer debuted at the June 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), with a December 2013 final release date.

        That’s more than five years. Do your homework before you post falsehoods over and over…

    2. Google and every hardware project they have done, Apple needs to re-focus on the little things they have cut out routers, monitors, Macs, feature parity between iPads and iPhones going forward.

  3. Some people here already predicted back in 2017 that Tim Cook would bring down Apple to the ground. Now the time of reckoning has come. Stock price now is brutal and keeps sliding down. It will eventually level out at some point because of the huge installed base but something should happen.

    1. Uh… some guys here called it back in 2013 when the abominable trashcan was rolled out.

      Tim has been a product and pricing disaster. Now his house of cards has been revealed: his pipeline is weak on performance. The ecosystem has fallen apart. As soon as the next recession (thanks to white house incompetence), Apple will find how few people are willing to pay huge prices for lackluster low-feature products. Cook’s financial returns up to now have been almost entirely as a result of the prodigious momentum from his predecessor.

      It has been funny to listen to the trumpistas root for a corporation that got big and fat only by outsourcing to commy china and hiding money in foreign tax havens, now offering nothing new but overpriced consumer stuff attempting to force you into a monthly fee. Cook wants your Apple devices on a constant electronic leash as badly as scum privacy invaders facebook or google. That is where Cook’s wimpy pipeline has been aimed for 8 years. Too bad Apple has never delivered great online services at any cost.

      Cook and half the senior VPs need to be axed immediately

    2. Bring down Apple? Lol.. can you guys hear yourselves…???
      Are you guys trully that delusional .. bring down Apple ?
      Under Tims leadership Apple has grown from aprox 50 billion to 250 billion company !

      Wow. The distortion Is mind boggling !

      Here it is for u guys again:

      Read it loud.. maybe it will Wake u up !

      The revised revenue of 84 billion makes for Apples 2nd highest quarterly revenue Ever !!!

    3. Yes, for the first time in years agree “the time of reckoning has come,” hopefully sooner rather than later in 2019. ABC News showed a clip of Cook on the evening news tonight blaming the over $70 billion loss TODAY squarely on China and of course nothing to do with bad management. Nice defensive try, but the market has lost confidence in your one-trick pony iPhone company at exorbitant prices. We have not felt the love for years about the glacier pace of improving the flagship Mac lines, dongle tax, killing groundbreaking products like Airport (Steve’s baby) and particularly ignorance of the STAR of Apple since the beginning — Mac Pros. High time you retire to an island to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. Long overdue for another creative genius to run Apple…

    1. Absolute Bull ! Absolute as in with a giant A!

      First it is not true.. Steve worshipers forget his massive screwups.. and exaggerate Tims! Big Time !

      Apple used to manufacture 20 million units of a product.. now they manufacture 200 million..

      If u have any capacity to fathom the difference and any clue of statistics/probability, then you would realize who baseless your comment is!

      Level of bias and delusional misinformation is at its peak.

      Oh ya ( we dont have a Mac pro… that is why ! )

    1. Let me add one: decisiveness.

      In Cook’s case, total lack thereof. He sat in Trumps’s photo op business council. He knew what the harebrained president would do. But what did Apple do to prepare for abtrade war or for predictable consumer belt tightening? Cook rolled out the most expensive iPhones in history, all wildly overpriced and overrated, and all made in China.

      Cook may be a nice guy but he is almost as incompetent as Trump. Time for him to leave and go do his true calling as a social worker.

  4. Let’s see – Tim Cook was Steve Jobs for the CEO job and he had significant experience with Cook before making that decision. That makes it hard to pick a better CEO based on Job’s view of the positions needs.

    The sudden fall in iPhone sales is directly tired to the Canadian arrears of one of China’s top corporate powers. No one saw that coming, from Corporate executives to political leaders in the US to journalists writing about the “fall of the iPhone:”. Obviously our 2 bit president had no idea of the issues with tariffs, border walls, etc. Those tariffs have sufficiently pissed China off to the point that it has had an impact on sales of the iPhone and other Apple products, as well as products from other US companies.

    Tim Cook cannot crash the economy but Trump can.

    1. As you know Ken, Jobs had such a great track record in picking CEOs……

      By 2010 mostly what Jobs wanted was a conductor to keep the trains running on time. He expected that Cook would have been smart enough to diversify its products and its manufacturing locations. He assumed strong product development experts would be promoted and given the charter to put out new kickass products on a regular schedule. Jobs probably thought that Cook would coordinate business groups so everyone would row the boat in the same direction. Nope. Apple is directionless. Tangible innovation that the user can benefit from has been outsourced to App developers. Cook’s hires / promotions for executives have been drunk washed up rappers, empty suit fashion retailers, and absentee designers. Flagship products, formerly leaders in their markets, were left to rot as Cook instead delivered emoji. Apple’s apps like Maps remain far behind the competition as Apple did little but imitate Snapchat Roku Spotify and others. Apple can’t even run itself using Apple-made computers. It buys Linux servers from HP and rents Amazon and Google and Microsoft services. No wonder Apple is viewed by many industries as a toy maker. Most of its app sales are games.

      Prices are higher than ever but Apple wares are not a good value anymore. Nobody is minding the products, listening to consumers, or addressing international trade chaos. Slow Cook apparently hasn’t let his day job interfere with his social calendar. Any intelligent person would have done as good as Cook as CEO simply by showing up and listening to users. One could name half a dozen accomplished ceo replacements for Cook but the few remaining Cook fans have their ears plugged and the loudmouth anti Cook MDN rabble simply chants Forstall over and over.

      Investors have to ask themselves how much longer they will listen to Cook’s feckless messages and the pathetic blogosphere that imagines Apple has the substance to keep up the innovation that Jobs unleashed.

  5. Still waiting for a workstation Mac Pro. Have the money will order day one, Tim.

    Not going to buy a styling exercise like the trashcan or a sealed up box or an iMac.

    You made the trains run on time, but have turned Apple into a 2010’s version of Microsoft under Steve Ballmer- lots of money and resources but no innovation. Iteration and imitation instead of innovation.

    Maybe Apple should stop trying to be a movie studio making video content, and get back to making insanely great computing devices with which to change the world. CEOs from Burberry are not going to do it, washed up rappers & record execs are not going to do it (Dre & Iovine), nor are hiring cast-offs from Hollywood (quite a list).

    Apple is not going to beat Disney- ask their CEO (Iger) since he is on your board. They own Fox Studios, Disney, Mirimax, ABC, ESPN and Hulu. Planet of the Apps is not going to get it.

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