Market Intelligence

Apple Shares Slip 7% After Revenue Outlook Cut

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( - Shares of Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) plunged 7% in the after-hours trade on Wednesday after the tech giant lowered its first quarter guidance in a letter to investors.

Cupertino, California-based Apple now expects first-quarter revenues of about $84 billion, down from prior estimate of between $89 billion to $93 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently estimate revenues of $91.49 billion.

The company now expects gross margin of about 38 percent, down from previous estimate of between 38 percent and 38.5 percent.

Apple said it did not expect the magnitude of the economic deceleration in emerging markets, particularly in China. The company said most of its revenue shortfall to guidance, and over 100 percent of year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in China across iPhone, Mac and iPad.

"As we exit a challenging quarter, we are as confident as ever in the fundamental strength of our business. We manage Apple for the long term, and Apple has always used periods of adversity to re-examine our approach, to take advantage of our culture of flexibility, adaptability and creativity, and to emerge better as a result," CEO Tim Cook said.

AAPL closed Wednesday's trading at $157.92, up $0.18 or 0.11%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, slipped $11.41 or 7.23% in the after-hours trading.

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