Apple Inc. (AAPL) looks set to rebound modestly from one of its worst trading day of the year Wednesday even as investors continue to question the depth of demand for its flagship iPhone X amid reports of slashed sales forecasts.
European chipmakers in the company's supply chain were marked notably lower in early trading, although much of the reaction was delayed owing to market closures around the region on Tuesday. Dialog Semiconductor AG (DLGNF) , slumped 5.96% to 23.89 each while STMicroelectronics (SSNLF) was seen 2.31% lower in Wednesday trading, while ASM International NV (ASMVY) fell 1.5% by mid-morning in Amsterdam.
The moves followed a sharp 2.54% slump in Apple shares on Wall Street Tuesday, its biggest single-day decline since August, that was pegged to a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily newspaper suggesting the tech giant was ready to slash its iPhone X sales forecasts to 30 million from 50 million over the three months ending in December.
Apple shares were marked 0.2% higher in pre-market trading, indicating an opening price of $170.90 each and have gained 47.3% so far this year.
The company's Asia suppliers also rebounded Wednesday, with Pegatron Corp. gaining 1.7% and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn and the single firm contracted to assemble Apple's iPhones, rising 1.1%. Apple's chief rival, Samsung Electronics, gained 2.41% to lead South Korea's KOSPI benchmark higher into the close of Wednesday trading.
The Economic Daily's report is the latest in a series of concerns expressed over holiday demand for the iPhone X, which carries a list price of $999 and launched in early November.
Instinet, a division of the Japanese investment bank Nomura, lowered its price target on the tech giant by $10 to $175 and cut its rating on the stock to "neutral" from "buy" last week, with analyst Jeffrey Kvaal also trimming his full-year earnings per share forecast by 25 cents to $11.50 and lowering his estimate for iPhone sales over Apple's financial year, which ends in September, to 245 million units from a previous target of 265 million.
The downbeat forecast for iPhone X sales echoes similar concerns on Wall Street that Apple's decision to stagger the release of its anniversary edition six weeks after the launch of its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8-plus models may have trimmed consumer demand. Others have suggested the $1,000 price tag is keeping buyers from stretching to the anniversary edition, given that its features are not substantially different from the current iPhone 8.
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