Apple Says Coronavirus Will Stunt Its Quarterly Earnings

People wear protective masks at an Apple Store in Shanghai, China, January 29, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Apple said in a press release Monday that it will not meet its revenue projections for the quarter due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, signaling that its iPhone production and Chinese demand for its products were being impacted by the severity of the disease.

“Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,” Apple said in the release. “Apple is fundamentally strong, and this disruption to our business is only temporary. Our first priority — now and always — is the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate. Our profound gratitude is with those on the front lines of confronting this public health emergency.”

The tech giant said the virus, which as of Monday had affected over 71,000 people in China, was impacting the production of the flagship iPhone with manufacturing sites in the country “ramping [back] up more slowly” than initially anticipated. Its statement added that customer demand had also been severely impacted in China. “All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed. Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic,” it read, though retail locations are “gradually reopening.”

Apple did not provide details on how much its revenue would be affected. It had originally projected record revenue of between $63 billion and $67 billion for the current quarter, but now says it will “provide more information” in an April earnings call.

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Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed at least 1,770 people, most of whom were elderly or otherwise suffered from compromised immune systems. The U.S. has confirmed 15 domestic cases, but the State Department said Monday that 14 other Americans who were aboard chartered evacuation flights had tested positive for the virus.

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