On Tuesday, Apple Inc’s stock market value shrank steeply, following its sharp drop last year, causing it to fall below $2 trillion for the first time since March 2021.
The sell-off came after a year when the iPhone maker became the first company to reach the benchmark of $3 trillion market capitalisation.
According to Refinitiv Eikon, Apple’s shares plummeted by 3.7% to $125.07 after Exane BNP Paribas analyst Jerome Ramel downgraded the company to “neutral” from “outperform,” bringing down his price target to $140 from $180.
Citing unnamed suppliers, that Apple has told suppliers to manufacture fewer parts for its ear buds, watches and laptops, Nikkie’s report talked about the intensitying worries of investors that a sedating global economy and rising inflation may be hurting demand for Apple devices.
The drastic drop in Apple’s share price put its market capitalization at $1.99 trillion.
Ramel cut his iPhone shipment targets for fiscal year 2023 to 224 million units from 245 million units, reflecting supply chain issues from manufacturer Foxconn and consumers cutting back spending on high-end phones.
At the present stock price of Apple, the iphone company’s value is just ahead of Microsoft Corp, which is valued at about $1.8 trillion.
According to Refinitiv, investors have been worried about consumer demand, analysts on average expect the Cupertino, California company to report a 1% drop in December-quarter revenue in the coming weeks. That would mark Apple’s first quarterly revenue decline since the March quarter of 2019.
Bokeh Capital Partners’ Kim Forrest said, “They (Apple) tend to skew to the high-end consumer device customer but even that demographic might be being affected by the high price of everything.”
The previous year’s steep sell-off on Wall Street punished tech-related heavyweights as investors who were weary of rising interest rates, dumped stocks with high valuations.
The collective stock market value of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon Inc, Alphabet Inc and Meta Platforms now accounts for about 18% of the S&P 500, down from as much as 24% in 2020.
Post its 27% drop in the fiscal year 2022, Apple has provided hefty returns to its long-term shareholders. Investors who bought and held Apple shares when cofounder Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007 have enjoyed a gain of over 4,000%, excluding dividends, compared to a 180% gain in the S&P 500 over the same time period.
On Tuesday, the broader market was down, with the S&P 500 index dropping about nearly under 1% during trading.