Skip to main content

Apple Stock Gains After Winning Back Top Spot In China Ahead of December Quarter Earnings

Apple reclaimed its title as the top selling smartphone in China last quarter after a six year slump, Counterpoint Research said Wednesday.

Updated at 12:33 pm EST

Apple Inc.  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report shares jumped higher Wednesday after market tracking data showed it captured the top spot in China for the first time in six years as investors await the tech giant's December quarter earnings.

Counterpoint Research said Apple was the top-selling smartphone vendor in China, the world's biggest handset market, over the three months ending in December, with sales boosted by a post-pandemic rebound in demand and the release of its signature iPhone 13 earlier in the autumn.

Apple's smartphone market share, Counterpoint said, reached a record high 23% as unit sales rose 32% from the year-prior period. Apple said in late October that Greater China revenues, rose 83% from last year's pandemic hit period to $14.56 billion.

Apple shares were marked 2% higher in mid-day trading Wednesday to change hands at $162.95 each.

Apple shares, which are down 10% so far this year, topped the $3 billion mark on January 3. The tech giant first passed the $2 trillion mark in August of 2020, just two years after it reached the $1 trillion threshold. It was wroth $100 billion in May 2007.

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

Apple will publish its first quarter earnings on Thursday, after the close of trading, with analysts looking for revenues of $118.7 billion and a bottom line of $1.89 per share. 

Apple has already told us that December quarter sales will be clipped by Covid-linked disruptions in its supply chain following a rare revenue miss over its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended in September. 

CEO Tim Cook told Reuters that "we're doing everything we can do to get more (chips) and also everything we can do operationally to make sure we're moving just as fast as possible."

Still, CFO Luca Maestri told investors on a conference call that December quarter sales would be "very solid", and likely hit a record high, with gross margins in the region of 41.5% to 42.5%. 

JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, however, has argued that Apple has "managed to reverse the underperformance" of the stock, as well as the company, over the first half of the year, thanks in part to improved iPhone 13 demand and the navigation of disruptions in chip and smart phone supply chains.

He tagged a $210 price target on the stock last month, adding that revenue growth could get a further upside boost next year if the tech giant were to launch the anticipated 5G iPhone SE.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, said in November Apple was instructing vendors to prepare for tamer holiday sales thanks in part to Omicron concerns, delivery delays and the broader impact on consumer spending from the highest levels of domestic inflation in more than 30 years.