Apple supplier Jabil sinks despite earnings beat

A worker at the Jabil Circuit facility in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Jim Stem | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A worker at the Jabil Circuit facility in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Shares of Jabil Circuit dipped more than 5 percent on Thursday after it announced a restructuring, despite posting financial results that topped expectations.

Jabil, a leading supplier for technology giant Apple, reported adjusted earnings on Wednesday of 28 cents per share on revenues of $4.43 billion for its fourth fiscal quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected it to reported earnings of 25 cents per share on $4.27 billion in revenue.

The company announced a realignment plan as part of the earnings report, as it looks to optimize for a "more moderate growth environment." It comes after a year that was characterized by "significant variability" for the company, which offers design, production project management and supply chain management for electronics and technology companies.

"I couldn't be more pleased with our team in terms of effort and commitment, as they did a brilliant job of controlling what they could control during the year," CEO Mark Mondello said.

Still, the company posted guidance on the higher side of estimates for the first fiscal quarter, when it expects to see earnings ranging from 54 cents to 74 cents per share on revenues of $4.8 billion to $5 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 62 cents per share on sales of $4.88 billion in that quarter, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

It comes as major customer Apple has had a volatile month, tracking up about 8 percent so far this month despite trepidation around the new iPhone 7.

Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri raised his estimates on Thursday for December's iPhone unit sales after supply checks, but continued to hold slightly below consensus estimates. He said that the mix of iPhone models during his check indicate that Apple wants to maintain some supply constraints until demand becomes a little more certain.

"While we do not cover [Jabil], our separate field checks have suggested [Apple] has finally begun to cautiously increase assembly plans for iPhone," Arcuri wrote. "Our checks indicate that iPhone mix is now skewed more toward the new builds."

Analysts at Stifel concurred that Jabil's earnings were "ok," but the company's outlook was uncertain due to lack of visibility with Apple.

"Lack of clarity on the sales and profitability related to the Apple business presents a significant swing factor on future earnings," Stifel's analysts wrote in a note.