Supply Chain Indicators Point to Poor February for Apple
Citigroup's recent claim that Apple would miss its own Q1/Q2 revenue forecasts has been lent weight by Topeka Capital's Apple Monitor reporting that key Apple suppliers had a "terrible" February (via Business Insider).
The monitor, which tracks the results of Apple's key suppliers, is compiled by Topeka Capital's Brian White, an analyst normally bullish on Apple.
When [supplier] results are good, it usually means good things for Apple. When the results are bad, watch out.
White says the February results for his Apple Monitor were down 31 percent sequentially, which compares to the typical 8 percent decline. Even if you factor in the Chinese New Year, he still says it's bad.
The Chinese New Year tends to result in significantly reduced production, but White calculates that factoring that in still results on a fall in production of 15%, amounting to "the worst February we have on record." White goes on to observe that most of the preliminary Taiwan monitors show weak results, suggesting that the slowdown is affecting the whole industry, though Apple's supply chain figures appear worse than most.
Last month, research firm NPD revealed surprisingly strong Mac and iPod sales in the U.S. for the month of January, but with those product families accounting for smaller and smaller proportions of Apple's revenue, iPhone and iPad sales have become the primary drivers of Apple's performance.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has cautioned against reading too much into supply chain reports, noting that the company has multiple sources for many components and that yield rates may vary over time, but Topeka's Apple Monitor attempts to take some of those fluctuations into account by taking a broader view spanning a number of companies within Apple's supply chain.