MarketDeal24.Com – Apple Inc. on Monday has expressed its caution that it was unlikely to meet its March quarter sales forecast set just three weeks ago as the world’s most valuable technology company became one of the biggest corporate casualties of China’s coronavirus outbreak.
The virus has so far killed nearly 1,900 in mainland China and impacted some 72,000 additional people, forcing millions to their homes, disrupting vital supply chains and delaying reopening of factories after the extended Lunar New Year holiday break.
Factories in China that manufacture Apple’s iPhone and other electronics have begun to reopen, but they are gearing up more slowly than expected, Apple said. That will mean fewer iPhones available for sale around the world, making Apple one of the biggest Western firms to be hurt by the outbreak.
Some of its retail stores in the country remain closed or are operating at reduced hours, which will negatively impact sales this quarter. China makes up around 15% of Apple’s revenue, or $13.6 billion, last quarter, and supplied 18% of revenue in the year-ago quarter.
In late January, Apple had forecast $63 billion to $67 billion in revenue for the quarter ending in March, which it said was a wider than normal range due to the uncertainty created by the outbreak. It did not offer an alternative revenue forecast nor provide a profit outlay on Monday.