delay in Apple’s iPhone 12 is knocks more than $100 billion off market cap

Apple’s decision to not give any iPhone 12 sales guidance during its Thursday earnings call cost it $100 billion.

Shares of Apple are down more than 5 percent since it reported its fourth quarter earnings, taking a chunk out of the iPhone maker’s valuation almost twice the size of Snapchat parent company Snap, Inc.’s market value.

At issue is the fact that the coronavirus pandemic delayed the production and release of the hotly anticipated iPhone 12, which normally releases earlier in the fall, but this year did not hit stores until late October, meaning investors were unable to properly gauge how sales of the company’s first 5G iPhone are doing.

Despite mostly beating expectations across the board, Apple’s move to stay mum on the iPhone 12’s prospects had the stock down 5.4 percent Friday morning, at $109.09. Apple’s market cap now sits at $1.89 trillion.

Sales in China were down 29 percent in the quarter, with many customers holding off on buying a new iPhone until the release of the 12 model, which CEO Tim Cook said he anticipates will bring Apple back to growth in the country.

“What we’re seeing in the early going in the first five days gives us a lot of confidence that China will return to growth in our fiscal Q1,” Cook told Reuters in an interview.

CFO Luca Maestri said that iPhone revenue would grow in the first quarter, but did not give a specific growth forecast. Analysts are looking for growth of 6.5 percent to $59.6 billion.

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