Feb 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus outbreak slams companies' 2020 sales projections

A man and a child walk past a closed Apple store in Shanghai on Feb. 20. Photo: Yifan Ding/Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak already is eating into companies' 2020 plans, with a number of firms announcing significant expected hits to their sales.

What's happening: After warning that it would need to write down its revenue expectations, a new report from Nikkei says Apple's iPhone inventories could remain low until April or longer and that suppliers are "currently operating at around 30% to 50% of capacity."

  • Adidas also said Wednesday that its business in and around China had dropped by about 85% year over year since Jan. 25.
  • Puma added that it expected the virus to hit sales and profits in the first quarter but still hoped to reach its 2020 targets.

What they're saying: "Retail in February is destroyed," Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden said in a statement. "We don’t know yet about March. We are doing everything we can to stay open."

Flashback: About 40% of companies that have reported earnings have cited the term “coronavirus,” and about a quarter of those have modified guidance due to the virus.

On the other side: “An aggressive response to the crisis [by the Chinese government] seems to be helping contain the epidemic,” Jefferies analyst James Grzinic told Reuters.

  • “[T]his would suggest that a tough first quarter should be followed by a strong recovery in the second quarter and beyond.”

Go deeper: Coronavirus may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic

Go deeper

Microsoft and other tech firms sound alarm over coronavirus impact

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

More companies are saying publicly that disruptions caused by the coronavirus are hitting their bottom lines. Microsoft warned Wednesday that its personal computing unit, which includes Windows and Surface, will likely miss revenue expectations due to a slower-than-expected return to production after the Lunar New Year.

The big picture: Although Apple was the first big tech company to warn of a financial impact from the outbreak, most industry watchers said they expected the impact to be felt broadly across the industry, which depends heavily on China for manufacturing.

Stock traders expect stimulus to save the day despite coronavirus fears

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News about the coronavirus outbreak got worse on Monday, but stock traders saw a stimulus bat-signal in the sky and sent the Dow to its biggest points gain on record — 1,294 points.

Why it happened: Stock prices jumped after it was confirmed that finance ministers and central bank governors from each of the G7 countries would hold a conference call Tuesday morning, presumably to announce coordinated stimulus measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus could shrink global GDP

Data: OECD; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Here's how serious coronavirus is: With the exception of the global financial crisis, the last time that the world saw a quarter of negative GDP growth was in 1982.

Flashback: Back then, China accounted for only about 1% of global GDP. Today, that number is 15%.