Investors were running from stocks Friday, and particularly those most exposed to increased tariffs on China. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) was no exception. But fears that Apple's revenue will get hit hard from Donald Trump's policy may be overdone for now.
The stock closed down 1.39% to $197.18 on Friday after dipping lower in the day following President Trump's move to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods to 25% from 10%.
But "the impact from tariffs placed on roughly $150 billion worth of goods exported from China to the U.S. to-date has been minimal, so an increase in the tariff rate on the $200 billion worth of goods that are currently taxed at 10% [and now officially at 25%] likely would still be minimal," Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note, just before the announcement early Friday of increased tariffs.
Apple, which often finishes its manufacturing process in China and then exports into the U.S., has just over 33% of its cost-of-goods-sold in China, Huberty estimated. It hasn't hurt Apple much, so far. "However, a 25% tax on the remaining $267 billion of goods exported from China to the U.S. would have considerable ramifications across Apple's supply chain," Huberty said.
Apple could pass on the added cost of production to consumers, making them pay roughly an extra $160 per iPhone XS, "which likely would dampen iPhone demand," Huberty said.
Still, she thinks Apple would simply absorb the added cost, which would still shave roughly 23%, or $3, off her 2020 earnings per share estimate of $12.67.
She noted that moving manufacturing operations away from China would take several years, by which time tariffs could be off. The move also, she said, wouldn't be without the risk of failed execution.