Top Apple analyst Kuo slashes Apple iPhone shipment estimates by 20%

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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 in a new note Friday.

Here are his new forecasts:

  • Slashing iPhone shipment estimate for the first quarter 2019 by 20 percent to a range of 38 million to 42 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

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

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

Apple shares fell 1.3 percent in premarket trading Friday, set to add to their 24 percent decline in the stock this quarter. Apple’s iPhone shipments missed Wall Street estimates last quarter, the company said in November, and it also said it would 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.

— With reporting by Michael Bloom.

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