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Stocks in the News

On Friday, shares of iPhone maker Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report) are slumping in late-afternoon trading, down about 1.5% after a German research firm suggested weak iPhone 7 sales, and Japanese regulators are reportedly considering taking action against the tech giant over alleged antitrust violations.

As reported by Business Insider, German research firm has issued a report suggesting that iPhone 7 sales are weaker than what analysts expected, and down considerably from last year, based on data from Asia and Europe. The report apparently claims that “iPhone 7 unit sales are down 25% on an annual basis against last year's iPhone 6S model, although it does not measure sales in the United States.” 

And earlier this month, Apple said it would not be disclosing any iPhone 7 launch numbers, stating “initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers.” This goes against tradition, so to speak, as Apple has historically released numbers for its latest iPhone release the Monday after the first weekend a new model becomes available for sale.

In other news, Apple may soon face a probe from Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on claims over “possible antitrust violations that may have helped it dominate the nation's smartphone sales, government sources said,” says Reuters.

Reuters also notes that the Apple iPhone accounts for almost one in every two smartphones in Japan, and if these regulators decide to take any action against the company, Apple’s profit margins and hinder demand for its latest iPhone model.

Currently, AAPL is a #3 (Hold) on the Zacks Rank and has gained 8.89% year-to-date.

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