Apple bulls should thank Dialog Semiconductor.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares were indicated higher in pre-market trading Wednesday after one of its key European suppliers posted stronger-than-expected quarterly revenues and issued a solid 2018 outlook.
Dialog Semiconductor plc (DLGNF) , a Frankfurt-listed supplier of power management chips for the Apple iPhone, said earlier Wednesday that sales for the three months ending in December, the U.K.-based company's fiscal fourth quarter, rose 27% from the same period in 2016 to a record $464 million.
The group, which generates around three quarters of its sales via its association with Apple, also said its sees Q1 2018 revenues in the range of $330 million to $360 million while noting that overall annual sales will be "strongly weighted" to the second half of the year.
"As we look ahead into 2018, our competitive positioning in mobility and IoT remains strong and we will continue to invest in differentiated technology to generate future revenue growth opportunities," said CEO Jalal Bagherli. "This, combined with a strong pipeline of new products and customer design-ins, gives me confidence about our prospects for the coming year."
Dialog shares rose 9.3% by mid-morning in Frankfurt to change hands at €27.28 each and top the Stoxx Europe 600 leaderboard.
Apple shares were marked 0.24% higher from their Tuesday close in pre-market trading in New York, indicating an opening bell price of $178.82, a move that would take its February gain to 6.75%, well ahead of the 1.14% decline for the Nasdaq Composite Index. The stock hit a record high of 179.26 on Jan. 18.
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Apple reported a 1% fall in iPhone sales for its fiscal first quarter, which ended in December, and said it expects to sales in the three months ending in March to top out at $62 billion, a figure that fell shy of Wall Street's forecasts of 65.7 billion.
The company has also been subject to a number of tech industry rumors with respect to the pace sales for its flagship iPhone X and the potential of a peak in the so-called supercycle in semiconductor demand as customers baulk at purchasing increasingly-expensive smartphones that provide diminishing technological improvements.
However, the company's fortunes were given a ringing endorsement earlier this week from Warren Buffett, who told CNBC that his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) funds have "bought more Apple than anything else" this year on the back of its "extraordinary" consumer business and its "very sticky" iPhone.
"I see how strong that ecosystem is, to an extraordinary degree. ... You are very, very, very locked in, at least psychologically and mentally, to the product you are using," he said.