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FALLING APPLE

Apple briefly slummed it as a non-trillion dollar company

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
This many trillions.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

The Apple fell—if only briefly.

The company reported its fourth-quarter earnings today (Nov. 1), and a combination of disappointing factors in its report sent Apple’s stock price plummeting in after-hours trading. Apple’s stock price fell by around 7% after the bell, to around $207, at the time of publishing.

Based on those trades, Apple’s market capitalization fell below $1 trillion for the first time since early August, but about 30 minutes after the company’s investor call ended, the stock price trickled slowly back up, pushing the company slightly above the $1 trillion threshold again.

On today’s earnings call, chief financial officer Luca Maestri said that starting next quarter, Apple will no longer report the number of units of its products that it ships. Up till now, it’s broken out how many iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers it sells each quarters, helping investors gauge the popularity and health of each of its product lines. Maestri and CEO Tim Cook both said the number was less important to the company than revenue, profit, operating margins, and the cost of sales, which it will start reporting for its businesses. Cook likened the move to going to the grocery store and a cashier asking you how many “units” are in your cart, suggesting that’s not something they would actually do. (He seems to be unaware of express lanes.)

Ironically, the stock price had already begun to fall before Maestri’s remarks, as the company reported shipping fewer iPhones in the quarter than analysts had been expecting—46.9 million, compared with the expected 48.4 million. The company also offered disappointing guidance for the all-important holiday quarter.

It’s likely that Apple will bounce back from today’s blips. The company recently released a slate of new devices, including new iPhones, a new iPad Pro, and MacBook Air, that have been generally well-received, and likely will be popular items during this coming holiday season. That being said, we just won’t know how many will end up getting sold.

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