Microsoft Is Latest Tech Firm to Warn of Coronavirus Impacts

Microsoft joins Apple and other major firms in cautioning investors that the coronavirus crisis will hurt their financial performance.
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Microsoft is the latest tech firm to signal that it will miss financial targets because of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

In a statement on Wednesday, the company warned investors that it will fall short of previously issued sales guidance of between $10.75 billion and $11.15 billion for its "more personal computing" segment, which includes Windows OEM and Surface. Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report shares were down 1.75% in after-hours trading, ending at $170.17 on Wednesday. 

"Although we see strong Windows demand in line with our expectations, the supply chain is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated at the time of our Q2 earnings call," the company said. "As a result, for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, we do not expect to meet our More Personal Computing segment guidance as Windows OEM and Surface are more negatively impacted than previously anticipated.

The original guidance range, which Microsoft issued on Jan. 29, was already wider than usual because the public health crisis was already underway. All other aspects of Microsoft's guidance are unchanged. 

Days ago, Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report also warned its investors that the health crisis would result in lower revenue for the current quarter. Neither company issued a specific revision, citing the unpredictability of the situation.

Late last week, Apple supplier Universal Display  (OLED) - Get Report, which builds OLED components, told investors to expect a roughly 10% reduction in its 2020 full year revenue due to Coronavirus-related disruptions.  

A recent report by Trendforce, a supply chain analytics firm, said that labor shortages and travel restrictions in China will impact a wide range of components and consumer products, including smartphones, smartwatches, computer panels and more. 

Other firms that have warned of Coronavirus-related financial impacts include United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Report, which told investors on Monday to expect "100% decline in near-term demand to China" and a decline of approximately 75% in other trans-Pacific routes. It withdrew its 2020 guidance due to uncertainties. 

Mastercard  (MA) - Get Report also slashed its first quarter revenue forecast this week, saying that the crisis had impacted cross-border travel and cross-border ecommerce growth. 

Microsoft, Apple and Mastercard are all part of Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus investment club portfolio.