Breakfast Briefing

iPhone sales on the decline.

May 3, 2017

Apple - reported its latest earnings last night after US markets closed and there was a degree of surprise that iPhone sales had dropped. The company’s line here is that a growing number of leaks about new product features had seen consumers holding off upgrading, but it was far from being all gloomy news for the company. Sales via channels like the App Store and iCloud rose by an impressive 18% - shares may have sold off around 2% in after hours trade, but given the rally at the start of the week in anticipation of these numbers, investors still seem to have little to worry about.

Sainsbury - the UK’s second largest supermarket has reported its full year results this morning and profits have fallen for a third consecutive year. Whilst the final number is still impressive - £581 million - this has only been achieved by £130 million worth of cost cutting and a £77 million contribution from the purchase of Argos last year. As inflation starts to bite, especially for imported goods with a weaker pound, either shareholders or shoppers will be left shouldering the burden.

Twitter - saw the value of its shares soar once again yesterday as talk of Artificial Intelligence and live streaming sparked investor interest. Generating advertising revenues is critical to the success of the business, so the fact that it is linking with Bloomberg to create a breaking news channel that will run on the platform should help address this.

Boris Homes - which is embattled in a dispute with many customers who bought new homes only to find a whole host of issues with construction, has admitted it cut corners to meet targets the City analysts were expecting it to achieve. Following yesterday’s AGM, the company said that the annual construction target was too high given the available workforce. £7m has now been set aside to make good the faulty properties and to compensate owners.

France - with only a few more days of campaigning left, it seems as if Emmanuel Macron will win the race to become the country’s next President. This should be good news both for the French economy and the whole of Europe - yes he wants to see reform, but Macron, unlike fellow candidate Le Pen, wants to see the country remain trading and continue to use the Euro. Markets globally could well have something new to be cheering by the start of next week.