Apple Reverses Nasdaq Losses After Record iPhone Sales

Andamento del mercato - 01/02/2017

The first quarter earnings report from Apple Inc once again managed to smash analyst expectations after a record 78.29 million iPhones were sold during the holiday season quarter.  Bottom and top line results beat forecasts, coming in at $78.4 billion and $3.36 per share versus $3.22 estimated.

However, despite the better revenues and earnings and year over year growth, it is too soon to call the report a complete success, especially after the outlook was guided lower.  Initially, second quarter revenue was projected to come in at $53.8 billion, with the latest earnings call seeing those figures revised downwards to a range of $51.5 to $53.5 billion.  One of the major items that may see sales fall during the second reporting period of the fiscal year is a stronger US dollar, which oftentimes hurts sales of Apple products in international markets as it forces local suppliers to raise prices.

All told, the results show that the worsening sentiment coming from Wall Street was largely unfounded for the technology behemoth as its cash holdings rapidly approach $250.0 billion.  Despite the tremendous size, this cash amount nets out at a much lower figure because most of the cash is held offshore due to tax reasons.  Should President Trump’s ambitious tax proposals come to fruition, much of this cash may be repatriated over time, helping spur even greater gains in shares.

On a performance level, Apple’s results were enough to turn a losing session in the Nasdaq around considering the company remains the single largest component of the index.  Nevertheless, the looming problem is the reality that foreign workers who comprise a critical component of the workforce may face new restrictions as the government takes a firmer stand on immigration and H1-B visas.  While stronger Apple results spurred a Nasdaq risk reversal after shares climbed 3.00%, it may not be enough to save the Nasdaq from tipping long-term should the tech industry go to battle with the Trump Administration.

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