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Apple investors should be on edge as more chip firms warn about weak smartphone sales

Key Points
  • Teradyne, Corning and SK Hynix all said Tuesday that demand for smartphone parts is falling.
  • Apple's stock is cumulatively down 8.4 percent in the four trading sessions through Tuesday, wiping out $75.6 billion of shareholder value.
Work on Gorilla Glass by Corning Incorporated
Source: Corning

Evidence pointing to a deteriorating smartphone market is now pervasive across many technology companies.

On Tuesday multiple chips and parts suppliers said the mobile market is weakening.

Teradyne, a maker of semiconductor testing equipment, blamed the smartphone market for its disappointing second-quarter sales guidance range of $490 million to $520 million versus the Wall Street consensus of $691 million.

"Despite the strong first quarter results, the demand outlook for 2018 mobile device test capacity declined sharply in the quarter and our second quarter guidance reflects that revised outlook," CEO Mark Jagiela said in the release Tuesday.

KeyBanc Capital Markets said declining demand for the Apple iPhone drove Teradyne's poor outlook.

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"Apple weakness is the likely culprit for the soft 2Q guide," analyst Weston Twigg wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "The key point of debate was whether the soft demand for Apple phones was already incorporated into the full-year SoC test outlook provided last quarter; it doesn't appear that it was."

In similar fashion, SK Hynix said Tuesday that "weak mobile demand" spurred a sales decline in DRAM memory chips in its financial report.

"Overall growth in smartphone sales will stagnate," Sean Kim, head of DRAM marketing at SK Hynix, said, according to Reuters.

Corning also revealed its division that makes the glass for many popular smartphones will suffer another sales decline in its second quarter. It posted first-quarter sales of $278 million, down 7 percent year over year, in the company's specialty materials segment, which came in below the Wall Street consensus of $285 million.

The company's management characterized the smartphone market as "maturing" and guided to a "similar year-over-year decline" in its second quarter for Corning's specialty materials business during its earnings call Tuesday.

The negative comments from technology companies came as Apple shares already declined from a key chip partner's forecast last week.

Apple's stock is cumulatively down 8.4 percent in the four trading sessions through Tuesday, wiping out $75.6 billion of shareholder value. The drop was sparked by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing's weaker-than-expected guidance Thursday morning.

The world's largest semiconductor foundry and Apple supplier said its revenue forecast range for the second quarter is $7.8 billion to $7.9 billion versus the Wall Street estimate of $8.8 billion. The company blamed "weak demand" in the mobile sector for its forecast.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The shares bounced back slightly Wednesday, up about 1.3 percent.

WATCH: Apple loses $64 billion in stock value as Wall Street is in 'full panic mode' on iPhone demand

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Apple loses $64 billion in stock value as Wall Street is in 'full panic mode' on iPhone demand