The company’s shares declined about 4 percent in after-hours trading, reversing most of the gains from earlier in the day when tech shares rallied following Meta’s earnings report on Wednesday. Wall Street had expected $122 billion in sales and $31 billion in profit.
Though its business has slowed, Apple hasn’t moved to cut jobs. Unlike some of its peers, such as Google and Meta, which aggressively hired during the first years of the pandemic to keep up with demand, Apple remained disciplined, adding 24,000 new workers, just 3,000 more than it added in the three years before 2020.
Still, many investors have reduced their stakes in Apple out of concern its business will be hit by the slowing economy. Consumer spending in the United States, Apple’s largest market, has declined, posing a potential challenge to sales of pricey iPhones.
“It’s impacting the higher end consumer’s willingness to spend and that’s going to impact the most valuable company in the world,” said Dave Wagner, a portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors, which has about $5 billion under management and an investment in Apple.
Apple recorded $65.78 billion in iPhone sales, an 8 percent decline from the previous year. The modest decline testified to the company’s supply chain acumen. After the company shut down its biggest iPhone factory in November, it shifted some production to other factories, according to Counterpoint, a market research firm.