Apple stock falls from post-earnings high on fears of coronavirus impact

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the Economic Summit held for the China Development Forum in Beijing on March 23, 2019.

Laurent Fievet | AFP | Getty Images

Apple’s stock has fallen more than 3% from its all-time high of $324.34 per share after a strong earnings report last week as investors worried how the spread of the coronavirus could impact the business.

The stock was still trading up more than half a percent Monday morning around $312 per share. Its market cap still tops $1.3 trillion.

But persistent concerns over the spread of the coronavirus seem to have dampened some of the excitement over Apple’s earnings beat Tuesday that sent the stock soaring the next day. China, an important market for Apple and a key manufacturing region, has been the epicenter of the outbreak, which the World Health Organization labeled a global health emergency.

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a wider than typical range of guidance for the next quarter due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. Still, Cook said the company’s “Greater China” segment, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, had returned to growth in the quarter that ended in December.

Cook said in the earnings call that some factories in China would remain closed until Feb. 10 as the government had recommended and the company had shut one store in the region and restricted employee travel.

On Wednesday, a key Apple analyst predicted the coronvavirus outbreak could hurt supply and demand for new Apple products expected to launch in the first half of the year. TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note to clients that he expects lowered smartphone shipments overall in the region and said factories that produce Apple products could face large-scale production risks and possible delays of launch. With limited employee travel, U.S.-based engineers may not be able to get to China to perform validation tests, for example. On Sunday, Kuo cut his Q1 2020 iPhone shipment forecast by 10%.

Kuo also said Apple’s Face ID won’t work with face masks commonly worn as a precaution to prevent infection from the virus. While Apple is working on a new fingerprint scanner, according to Kuo, those wearing masks will likely have a poorer experience with the devices in the meantime.

-CNBC’s Kif Leswing contributed to this report.

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