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Tech ETFs in Trouble Post Rotten Q2 Apple Results

After the closing bell yesterday, Apple Inc. (AAPL) jolted the Wall Street and investors’ with its worst fiscal second-quarter results. The technology giant reported its first quarterly revenue drop in 13 years and the first-ever decline in IPhone sales as it is struggling with an increasingly saturated market in smartphones. Additionally, Apple provided a disappointing revenue outlook for the third quarter, casting doubts over its future growth.

Apple Q2 Results in Detail

Earnings per share came in at $1.90, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents and declined from the year-ago earnings of $2.33. This represents the first earnings miss after beating estimates for 11 consecutive quarters. Revenues declined 13% year over year to $50.6 billion and fell short of our estimated $51.5 billion (see: all the Technology ETFs here).

Though iPhone sales were above market expectation, it fell 16% year over year to 51.2 million for the first time since introduced in 2007, putting an end to the long 51-quarter stretch of nonstop sales growth. Most of the decline came from lower sales in China, the company’s second-biggest market after the United States, and fewer upgrades to the latest iPhones. Notably, sales in China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, plunged 26% year over year to $12.49 billion. Meanwhile, both iPad and Mac sales were down 19% and 12%, respectively.

Given the end of an explosive growth era in iPhone sales and saturation of the smartphone market, the ubiquitous gadget-maker foresees revenues to decline 13–17% annually to $41–$43 billion for the ongoing fiscal third quarter. The upper end is much below the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $45.84 billion.

Market Impact

Based on the worst Q2 results and future growth concerns, shares of AAPL tumbled as much as 8.5% in after-market hours. This has eroded over $40 billion of market capitalization, equivalent to the total market value for Netflix (NFLX) and nearly 3.5 times the value of Twitter Inc. (TWTR). Even the news of a $50 billion hike in Apple shareholders’ returns failed to calm investors. The company boosted its buyback program by $35 billion and quarterly dividends by 10% to 57 cents (read: Netflix Drops on Weak User Outlook: ETFs to Watch).

This has swept away the positive sentiments on the iPhone maker and left many feeling bearish on the stock’s future. As a result, Apple is expected to see downward earnings estimate revisions from analysts in the coming days for Q3, Q4, fiscal 2016, and fiscal 2017. And investors should remain away from this stock at present though Apple currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) with a top Value and Growth Style Score of ‘A’ each. This is because negative revisions might result in our Rank downgrade for Apple.

Tech ETFs in Trouble

The terrible result from Apple and the slide in its stock price added to further pessimism in the sector and the technology ETFs that have already been hit by weak earnings reports from International Business Machines (IBM), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) (read: Alphabet Slips on Q1 Earnings Miss: 4 ETFs in Focus).

In particular, ETFs having the largest allocation to Apple have been in the spotlight, as these will likely see rough trading post results. Below, we have highlighted five funds that provide double-digit exposure to the tech titan and will be closely watched in the coming days. All these ETFs were down nearly 2% over the past five days:

iShares Dow Jones US Technology ETF (IYW)

This ETF tracks the Dow Jones US Technology Index, giving investors exposure to 140 technology stocks. The fund has AUM of $2.5 billion and charges 45 bps in fees and expenses. Volume is good as it exchanges nearly 267,000 shares in hand a day. Apple occupies the top position in the basket with 16.9% of assets. More than half of the portfolio is allocated to software and services while technology hardware and equipment accounts for 29.1% share. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 or ‘Strong Buy’ rating with a Medium risk outlook.

Select Sector SPDR Technology ETF (XLK)

This most popular technology ETF follows the Technology Select Sector Index and has $13.6 billion in AUM. This fund trades in heavy volume of more than 12.1 million shares and charges 14 bps in fees per year from investors. In total, the fund holds about 76 securities in its basket. Of these firms, AAPL takes the top spot, making up roughly 14.0% of the assets. In terms of industrial exposure, the fund is widely spread across software, Internet software & services, hardware storage & peripherals, IT services, semiconductors, and diversified telecom services that make up for a double-digit allocation each. It has a Zacks ETF Rank of 1 with a Medium risk outlook (read: Technology ETF (XLK) Hits New 52-Week High).
 
Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT)

This fund manages about $8.4 billion in its asset base and provides exposure to a large basket of 381 technology stocks by tracking the MSCI US Investable Market Information Technology 25/50 Index. The ETF has 0.10% in expense ratio while volume is good at nearly 411,000 shares. Here again, AAPL is the top firm with 13.8% allocation. The product is well spread out across a number of sectors with Internet software & services, hardware & storage, system software, semiconductors, and data processing & outsourced services each accounting for a double-digit allocation each. It has a Zacks ETF Rank of 2 or ‘Buy’ rating with a Medium risk outlook.

MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (FTEC)

This fund provides exposure to a large basket of 389 technology stocks with AUM of $394.5 million. This is done by tracking the MSCI USA IMI Information Technology Index. Here too, AAPL is the top firm with 13.5% allocation. From a sector perspective, the product is widely diversified across software, Internet software & services, IT services, technology hardware storage & peripherals, and semiconductors & semiconductor equipment with double-digit exposure each. The ETF has 0.12% in expense ratio while volume is good at 195,000 shares a day. It has a Zacks ETF Rank of 3 or ‘Hold’ rating with a Medium risk outlook (read: A Wearable Technology ETF on the Cards?).
 
iShares Global Tech ETF (IXN)

This product provides broad exposure to technology stocks from around the world by tracking the S&P Global 1200 Information Technology Sector Index. Holding 112 stocks in its basket, Apple occupies the top spot with 12.5% share. American firms dominate the fund’s portfolio at 77.3% while software and services accounts for more than half of the portfolio from a sector look. The ETF has amassed $753.7 million in its asset base but trades in lower volume of less than 40,000 share a day on average. Expense ratio came in at 0.48%.

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APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ISHARS-US TECH (IYW): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR-TECH SELS (XLK): ETF Research Reports
 
VIPERS-INFO TEC (VGT): ETF Research Reports
 
FID-INFOTEC (FTEC): ETF Research Reports
 
ISHARS-GLB TECH (IXN): ETF Research Reports
 
INTL BUS MACH (IBM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ALPHABET INC-A (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
NETFLIX INC (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TWITTER INC (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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