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|Subject : Apple supplier warns of sharply lower profit
Apple Inc supplier Laird Plc said it expected to post a sharply lower profit for the year, citing a slowdown in smartphone sales and “unprecedented” pricing pressure, sending its shares down by as much as 50 per cent. The selloff, marking the worst single-day drop for the stock, wiped out more than 420 million pounds from Laird’s market capitalization. The profit warning raises doubts about a recovery in the company’s biggest business – the performance materials division, which makes parts for the iPhone and other smartphones.
Smartphone sales growth has been slowing since a historic jump in 2010 as people are changing mobile phones less frequently in most developed markets. That has prompted smartphone makers to push for lower prices from suppliers – delivering a blow to suppliers’ margins. Technology research firm Gartner said in a report in June that smartphone sales would grow only 7pc in 2016, a rate that is half of that in the previous year. Laird, which makes chips used in Bluetooth devices, said on Wednesday that the improvement it had expected in its performance materials unit would be delayed. Contracts with mobile device makers make up for about a third of the unit’s revenue. Analysts have speculated that Apple could have accounted for about 17pc of the company’s total 2015 revenue.