Apple Falls Anew Amid iPhone 7 Worries, Chip Stocks Follow – Investor’s Business Daily

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Apple (AAPL) stock tumbled to its lowest level in nearly two years on Thursday, following a report that Asian component suppliers are seeing weak orders related to the upcoming iPhone 7.

Japanese business publication Nikkei Asian Review reported Thursday that Taiwan-based tech suppliers expect to get significantly fewer orders from Apple in the second half of this year compared with the year-earlier period. They cited the “ongoing slump in demand for premium smartphones and a lack of groundbreaking features for the upcoming iPhone 7.”

Nikkei Asian Review this week also reported that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM) expects its iPhone chip shipments for the June-to-December period will be about 70% to 80% of the level reached in the second half of 2015.

Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha said the market overreacted to the Nikkei report.

The prediction that iPhone builds would be down 20% to 30% in the second half of the year vs. the same period in 2015 was expected and already should have been baked into the stock’s price.

“While the news is clearly disappointing, it was already largely included in our iPhone unit estimates,” he said in a report Thursday.

Elsewhere, Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group said its first-quarter net profit fell 9.2% from a year earlier, as it was hit by a slowdown in iPhone sales, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Foxconn is Apple’s main iPhone assembler.

Apple stock fell 2.4%, to 90.32, on the stock market today, and fell as low as 89.47. TSM stock fell 1%, to 22.99.

IBD’s Take: How healthy is Apple’s stock and how does it stand up vs. rivals? Find out at IBD Stock Checkup.

Other Apple chip suppliers also fell Thursday, including InvenSense (INVN), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Broadcom (AVGO), Skyworks Solutions (SWKS), Qorvo (QRVO) and Texas Instruments (TXN).

Apple stock has risen in only four of the last 20 trading sessions. Since hitting its 2016 high of 112.39 on April 14, Apple stock has fallen about 20%.

Most of the decline happened after the Cupertino, Calif.-based company reported March-quarter results and gave June-quarter guidance on April 26. For its fiscal Q2, Apple posted its first year-over-year sales decline since 2003 and its first-ever drop in iPhone unit sales. For the current Q3, Apple is targeting sales of $42 billion, down 15% from the same period last year.

Demand for Apple’s latest handsets, the iPhone 6S series, has been relatively weak, and hopes for a return to unit sales growth have shifted to the iPhone 7, expected to be released in September.

The iPhone 7 is predicted to feature a slimmer design, a speedier processor and a better camera. It also might be waterproof for the first time, according to tech news reports. But it is expected to look pretty much like the current models, with tweaks like the lack of an audio headset jack.


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