Apple Loses Historic $3 Trillion Crown as Sales Disappoint

Apple Inc.’s market value is now decisively below the historic $3 trillion level, after the iPhone maker’s outlook for the fourth quarter sparked worries over tepid demand for its handsets and other gadgets.

Shares in the California-based company dropped 4.8% on Friday, resulting in a market capitalization of about $2.85 trillion. The day’s decline, Apple’s largest since September, represented a drop of more than $160 billion in market value. In June, Apple became the first company with a $3 trillion value.

In its report, Apple posted its third straight quarter of declining sales, and predicted a similar performance in the current period.

Rosenblatt Securities downgraded the stock to neutral, saying the mixed report “highlights the slowdown phase in which Apple now sits.” Even though the company’s Services business is accelerating, “a slowdown in the U.S. seems likely to last until a material new product category takes hold.” Analyst Barton Crockett sees this prospect as “uncertain both in timing and success, leaving little reason to favor shares now trading near peak absolute and relative multiples.”

Apple’s valuation has been a concern for investors. The stock trades at about 28 times estimated earnings, a premium to both its own history and the overall market.

The reaction to Apple’s results wasn’t uniformly negative, and Citi is optimistic about where it goes from here. The firm placed Apple on a 90-day upside catalyst watch ahead of its expected iPhone 15 series release in September.

Even with the day’s drop, Apple remains up 40% this year, roughly even with the performance of the Nasdaq 100 Index. However, Friday’s decline meant the stock closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since January, a sign of weak near-term momentum.

Source from: Bloomberg