The Street is pricing in the worst-case scenario despite evidence that Apple is better off than most.
Anticipating the latest round of Chinese trade tariffs, Apple shares fell below $218 Monday—off 2.66% for the day and 5% below early September highs. This despite the fact that three of Apple’s best-selling products—iPhone, Watch and AirPods—were explicitly spared Trump’s new tax.
Where do investors get the idea that the first casualty of trade war will be Apple? Maybe from a business press that keeps telling them so. Take, for starters, today’s Wall Street Journal ($).
Tripp Mickle’s story leads with the news that the company “dodged stinging duties on its smartwatches and wireless earbuds” but immediately pivots—10 times, by my count—to the ways in which Apple “could” get hurt. Apple, according to Mickle, is “especially vulnerable.” And on a week that the company is shipping a new Watch and two new iPhones, the timing for Apple is “especially bad.”
Huh? Didn’t he just tell us that the new iPhone and new Watch were spared?
It’s not until the eleventh paragraph that Mickle produces an expert who says the company, with its “very healthy” profit margins, could have withstood tariffs better than most.
My take: Apple ducks tariff bullet, stock takes dive. Sounds like a buying opportunity for Buffett and Cook.