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Apple shares drop after the most influential analyst covering the stock slashes his iPhone estimate

Key Points
  • Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities slashes his estimate of iPhone shipments for the first quarter 2019 by 20 percent.
  • He also says shipments for the full year will decline 5 to 10 percent from 2018.
  • Apple shares dropped 3.2 percent on Friday, bringing their decline for the quarter to more than 26 percent.
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Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, the most widely followed Apple analyst on Wall Street whose calls typically move the stock, says demand for iPhones is falling way short.

Here are his new forecasts in a new note Friday:

  • Slashing iPhone shipment estimate for the first quarter 2019 by 20 percent to a range of 38 million to 42 million (previous forecast was range of 47 million to 52 million)
  • He estimates 2018 iPhone shipments of 205 million to 210 million.
  • 2019 iPhone shipments will decline 5 to 10 percent from 2018 to a range of 188 million to 194 million

Kuo's note is titled, "2019 iPhone shipments likely to be under 190 million units." That would fall well short of FactSet's consensus analyst estimate of 212 million iPhone units shipped for the calendar year 2019.

Apple shares dropped 3.2 percent on Friday, bringing their decline for the quarter to more than 26 percent.

The analyst, known for having close ties to Apple suppliers, cites lower demand for the new iPhone XR, the more affordable iPhone.

"The increase in orders of legacy iPhone models cannot offset the decline of XR and XS series shipments because of the low season impact," he said.

Apple's iPhone shipments missed Wall Street estimates last quarter. It also said in November it will stop reporting individual sales numbers for the iPhone.

Kuo said in his note the suppliers are likely to "face growth challenges" because of the decline in iPhone shipments.

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