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New Emails Expose Fauci’s Role In Shaping Highly Influential Paper That Established COVID “Natural Origin” Narrative

New Emails Expose Fauci’s Role In Shaping Highly Influential Paper That Established COVID "Natural Origin" Narrative

Authored by Jeff Carlson and Hans Mahncke via The Epoch Times,

New evidence has emerged that suggests that Dr. Anthony…

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New Emails Expose Fauci's Role In Shaping Highly Influential Paper That Established COVID "Natural Origin" Narrative

Authored by Jeff Carlson and Hans Mahncke via The Epoch Times,

New evidence has emerged that suggests that Dr. Anthony Fauci not only initiated efforts to cover up evidence pointing to a lab origin of SARS-CoV-2 but actively shaped a highly influential academic paper that excluded the possibility of a lab leak.

Fauci’s involvement with the paper wasn’t acknowledged by the authors, as it should have been under prevailing academic standards. Neither was it acknowledged by Fauci himself, who denied having communicated with the authors when asked directly while testifying before Congress last week.

The article, Proximal Origin, was co-authored by five virologists, four of whom participated in a Feb. 1, 2020, teleconference that was hastily convened by Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Jeremy Farrar, who heads the UK-based Wellcome Trust, after public reporting of a potential link between the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China and the COVID-19 outbreak.

The initial draft of Proximal Origin was completed on the same day the teleconference, which wasn’t made public, took place. Notably, at least three authors of the paper were privately telling Fauci’s teleconference group both during the call and in subsequent emails that they were 60 to 80 percent sure that COVID-19 had come out of a lab.

Until now, it wasn’t known what role, if any, Fauci played in shaping the contents of the article, which formed the primary basis for government officials and media organizations to claim the “natural origin” theory for the virus. While the contents of emails previously released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show the Proximal Origin paper clearly conflicts with the authors’ private views on the virus’ origin, it was unclear if the authors had preemptively reshaped their views to please Fauci or if Fauci himself had an active role in shaping the article.

As the head of NIAID, Fauci controls a large portion of the world’s research funds for virologists. At least three virologists involved in the drafting of Proximal Origin have seen substantial increases in funding from the agency since the paper was first published. Any interference by Fauci in the paper’s narrative would present a serious conflict of interest.

Emails Show That Fauci, Collins Exerted Influence

Newly released notes taken by House Republican staffers from emails that still remain largely redacted clearly point to Fauci having been actively engaged in shaping the article and its conclusion. The GOP lawmakers gained limited access to the emails after a months-long battle with Fauci’s parent body, the Department of Health and Human Services.

The new emails reveal that on Feb. 4, 2020, one of the article’s co-authors, virologist Edward Holmes, shared a draft of Proximal Origin with Farrar. Like Fauci, Farrar controls the disbursement of vast amounts of funding for virology research.

Holmes prefaced his email to Farrar with the note that the authors “did not mention other anomalies as this will make us look like loons.” It isn’t known what other anomalies Holmes was referring to, but his statement indicates that Proximal Origin may have omitted certain anomalies of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, suggesting that the paper may have been narrative-driven from the start.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks while U.S. President Donald Trump (C) and Vice President Mike Pence listen during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 24, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

During Fauci’s teleconference, participants had discussed at least two anomalies specific to the virus—the virus’s furin cleavage site, which has never been observed in naturally occurring SARS coronaviruses, and the pathogen’s unusual backbone, which fails to match any known virus backbone.

Farrar almost immediately shared Holmes’s draft with Fauci and Collins via email, while excluding other participants of the teleconference. The ensuing email thread containing discussion among the three suggests that the reason for the secretiveness may have been that they were shaping the content of the paper itself, something that has never been publicly acknowledged.

It’s notable that the email thread included only the three senior members of the teleconference. Using Farrar as a conduit to communicate with the authors may have been seen by Fauci and Collins as adding a layer of deniability.

Fauci, Collins Express Concern Over ‘Serial Passage’

During a Feb. 4, 2020, email exchange among the men, Collins pointed out that Proximal Origin argued against an engineered virus but that serial passage was “still an option” in the draft. Fauci appeared to share Collins’s concerns, noting in a one-line response: “?? Serial passage in ACE2-transgenic mice.”

Serial passage is a process whereby a virus is manipulated in a lab by repeatedly passing it through human-like tissue such as genetically modified mice, which mimic human lung tissue. This is notable given that during the Feb. 1 teleconference, at least three of Proximal Origin’s authors had advised Collins and Fauci that the virus may have been manipulated in a lab through serial passage or by genetic insertion of certain features.

Then-National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins stands in Bethesda, Md., on Jan. 26, 2021. Collins stepped down in December 2021. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

One day after Fauci and Collins shared their comments, on Feb. 5, 2020, Farrar emailed Fauci and Collins stating that “[t]he team will update the draft today and I will forward immediately—they will add further comments on the glycans.”

The reference to glycans is notable as they are carbohydrate-based polymers produced by humans. The push by Fauci, Collins, and Farrar to have the paper’s authors expand on the issue of glycans appears to confirm that they were exerting direct influence on the content of Proximal Origin.

According to Rossana Segreto, a microbiologist and member of the virus origins search group DRASTIC, emphasizing the presence of glycans in SARS-CoV-2 might suggest that Fauci and his group were looking to add arguments against serial passage in the lab. A study later found that Proximal Origin’s prediction on the presence of the O-linked glycans wasn’t valid.

The newly released emails don’t reveal what additional discussions may have taken place among Fauci, Collins, and Farrar in the ensuing days. Perhaps that’s partly because Farrar had noted on another email thread addressed to Fauci’s teleconference group that scientific discussions should be taken offline.

Online Version Appears to Incorporate Fauci, Collins Suggestions

Eleven days later, on Feb. 16, 2020, Proximal Origin was published online. The paper argued aggressively for a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2.

An immediate observation from an examination of the Feb. 16 version of Proximal Origin is that “glycans,” the term that Farrar, Fauci and Collins wanted to emphasize, is cited 12 times. We don’t know to what extent glycans were discussed in the Feb. 4 draft as it remains concealed by National Institute of Health (NIH) officials.

An item of particular significance is that the Feb. 16 version omits any mention of the ACE2-transgenic mice that Fauci had initially flagged in his Feb. 4 email to Collins and Farrar. While the Feb. 16 version of Proximal Origin acknowledges that a furin cleavage site could have been generated through serial passage using animals with ACE2 receptors, the cited animals in the Feb. 16 version were ferrets—not transgenic mice.

The P4 laboratory on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on May 13, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

The authors’ use of ferrets is peculiar not only because the term “transgenic mice” was almost certainly used in the Feb. 4 version but also because it was known at the time that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting serial passage experiments on coronaviruses using ACE2 transgenic mice.

Even more conspicuously, the reference to ferrets was removed entirely from a March 17 updated version of the paper. In its place, a passage was added that stated “such work [serial passage experiments with ACE2 animals] has also not previously been described,” in academic literature—despite the fact that the Wuhan Institute’s work with ACE2 transgenic mice has been extensively described in academic papers.

Published Version of Proximal Origin Was Altered

Following the online publication of Proximal Origin on Feb. 16, 2020, the article was published in the prominent science journal Nature on March 17. In addition to the changes surrounding the transgenic mice, a number of other notable edits were made to strengthen the natural origin narrative.

On March 6, 2020, the paper’s lead author, Kristian Andersen, appeared to acknowledge the inputs from Collins, Farrar, and Fauci, when he emailed the three to say, “Thank you again for your advice and leadership as we have been working through the SARS-CoV-2 ‘origins’ paper.”

Perhaps most strikingly, the most often publicly cited passage from the March 17 version of the paper, “we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible,” doesn’t appear in the Feb. 16 version. Additionally, while the Feb. 16 version states that “genomic evidence does not support the idea that SARS-CoV-2 is a laboratory construct” the March 17 version was altered to state that “the evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is not a purposefully manipulated virus.”

Similar changes in language are evident in various parts of the March 17 version. For example, a section that stated “analysis provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct” was amended to read “analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct.”

A medical staff member gestures inside an isolation ward at Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province on March 10, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The March 17 version also omits an entire section from the Feb. 16 version that centered around an amino acid called phenylalanine. According to Segreto, a similarly situated amino acid in the original SARS virus had “mutated into phenylalanine as result of cell passage in human airway epithelium.” Segreto surmises that the Proximal Origin authors might have deleted this section so as not to highlight that the phenylalanine in SARS-CoV-2 might have resulted from serial passage in a lab.

Segreto’s analysis is backed up by the fact that another section in the Feb. 16 version which states that “experiments with [the original] SARS-CoV have shown that engineering such a site at the S1/S2 junction enhances cell–cell fusion,” was reworded in the March 17 version to leave out the word “engineering.” Indeed, while the Feb. 16 version merely downplayed the possibility of the virus having been engineered in a lab, in the March 17 version, the word “engineered” was expunged from the paper altogether.

Another sentence omitted from the March 17 version noted that “[i]nterestingly, 200 residents of Wuhan did not show coronavirus seroreactivity.” Had the sentence remained, it would have suggested that, unlike other regions in China, no SARS-related viruses were circulating in Wuhan in the years leading up to the pandemic. That makes natural spillover less likely. The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Shi Zhengli, herself admitted that she never expected a SARS-related virus to emerge in Wuhan. When viruses emerged naturally in the past, they emerged in southern China.

Shi’s credibility already was coming under fire for failing to disclose that she had the closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2 in her possession for seven years—a point noted early on by Segreto. Additionally, the Wuhan Institute took its entire database of viral sequences offline on Sept. 12, 2019. Despite the Wuhan Institute’s documented deletion and concealment of data, Proximal Origin’s central argument is that SARS-CoV-2 had to be natural since its backbone didn’t match any known backbones.

However, even before the March 17 version was published, Segreto had stated publicly that Proximal Origin’s central backbone argument was inherently flawed, precisely because there was no way of knowing whether the Chinese lab had published the relevant viral sequences.

Fauci, Collins, Farrar Roles Improperly Concealed

The email exchange among Fauci, Farrar, and Collins presents clear evidence that the three men took an active role in shaping the narrative of Proximal Origin. Indeed, a careful comparison of the Feb. 16 and March 17 versions show that the changes made fail to reflect any fundamental change in scientific analysis.

Instead, the authors employed linguistic changes and wholesale deletions that appear to have been designed to reinforce the natural origin narrative.

Close scrutiny of the email discussions by the three scientists also suggests that there was no legal justification for redacting any of the newly released information in the first place.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talks to members of the press prior to an event at the State Dining Room of the White House on Jan. 21, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Science journals require that contributions to scientific papers need to be acknowledged. According to Nature’s publishing guidelines, “[c]ontributors who do not meet all criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section.” The newly revealed sections of the still-redacted emails appear to confirm that Fauci, Farrar, and Collins met the criteria for acknowledgement but their names have never appeared on any published version of Proximal Origin, suggesting that the three didn’t want their involvement in the paper’s creation to be known.

Collins Asked Fauci ‘to Help Put Down’ Fox News Story

A final email released by the House Republicans shows that Collins wrote Fauci several months later on April 16, 2020, telling him that he had hoped that Proximal Origin would have “settled” the origin debate, but it apparently hadn’t since Bret Baier of Fox News was reporting that sources were confident the virus had come out of a lab.

Collins asked Fauci whether the NIH could do something “to help put down this very destructive conspiracy” that seemed to be “growing momentum.” Collins also suggested that he and Fauci ask the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to weigh in. As was revealed in previous emails released under FOIA, Fauci’s group had pushed NASEM in early Feb. 2020 to promote the natural origin narrative.

Fauci told Collins that the lab leak theory was a “shiny object” that would go away in time. However, the next day, Fauci took responsive action when he categorically dismissed the possibility of a lab origin of COVID-19 during on April 17, 2020, White House press conference. In doing so, Fauci cited the Proximal Origin paper as corroboration of his claims. Notably, Fauci feigned independence, telling reporters that he couldn’t recall the names of the authors. Unbeknownst to reporters and the public at the time, four out of the five authors had participated in Fauci’s Feb. 1, 2020, teleconference.

Now, we know that Fauci had involvement in shaping the very article that he cited.

Fauci’s intervention at the April 17 White House briefing was effective, since media interest in the lab leak theory quickly waned. It didn’t resurface until May 2021, when former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade published an article discussing the likelihood of a lab leak. Wade noted that “[a] virologist keen to continue his career would be very attentive to Fauci’s and Farrar’s wishes.”

Notably, Segreto had raised a similar concern after Proximal Origin was first published in February 2020, asking whether certain virologists were scared that if the truth came out, their research activities would be curtailed.

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/20/2022 - 19:50

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The investment case for copper miners – elevated prices are firmly supported by supply bottlenecks

A combination of the Covid pandemic disrupting production and supply chains across the globe and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost a year…
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A combination of the Covid pandemic disrupting production and supply chains across the globe and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost a year ago has led to significant volatility in commodity prices in recent years. Copper prices have been no exception, shooting up 127.66% from a low of $2.17 in mid-March 2020 to an all time record high of $4.94 on February 28 2022.

They subsequently dropped almost 35% between that high and a recent low last July before climbing over 30% against since. It’s been a rollercoaster couple of years for copper, which is used for everything from electronics to equipment manufacturing, building construction, infrastructure and transport.

Copper prices – 10 year chart

Source: MacroTrends

Why are copper prices rising as the economy slows?

Ordinarily, a backdrop of the highest inflation levels in decades, rapidly rising interest rates, geopolitical challenges and a Covid hangover degrading near-term global growth prospects would be expected to weigh on the price of copper and other industrial commodities. But over the past 3 months the price of copper has risen by over 20% as the world economy has deteriorated and demand outlook dwindled.

The recent surge in the price of copper is partly the result of a softer dollar and the end of China’s zero-Covid policy leading to market optimism demand for the metal and other industrial commodities will rise again. However, it’s mainly down to a supply squeeze that has in large part been due to temporary factors such as weather conditions and labour challenges reducing the output of currently active mines.

But while those issues will abate, supply tightness appears baked in for copper for several years to come as a result of underinvestment in new mines and extending current projects. There have been very few significant new copper deposit discoveries in recent years and that is expected to lead to a disconnect between supply and forecast demand over the next several years.

Electric vehicles and renewable energy infrastructure should see demand for copper rise significantly over coming years. Cyclical industries like construction should also bounce back as the global economy recovers from its current downturn, recovering to at least previous levels, on top of new demand resulting from electrification.

Based on current mining output and known new discoveries and miner pipelines, the evidence suggests copper supply will remain tight for years into the future. With that in mind, which copper miners could be worth a closer look from investors?

Antofagasta

Antofagasta

One of the world’s biggest copper miners, FTSE 100 constituent Antofagasta’s activities are mainly concentrated in Chile. While it also produces gold and silver like most copper miners (the metals are typically found in close proximity to each other), Antofagasta’s valuation is most influenced by copper prices and tracks them relatively closely.

The miner is also expected to increase its copper output over the next several years so will be even more tied to the metal’s price trends than now. Antofagasta published a Q4 production update earlier this month, revealing that it exceeded its revised full-year target of producing 646,200 tonnes of copper. It aims to produce between 670,000-710,000 tonnes in the current year, despite rising global inflation that has increased input costs. The net cash costs per pound, however, are expected to stay similar to last year’s.

If the company goes ahead with a proposed second concentrator at its Centinela operation, its annual production could reach 900,000 tonnes by 2026. In the first half of last year the miner had a net-debt-to-equity ratio of 5% and operating profits 64 times higher than net interest costs. The means the company is in the financial position to expand production as part of its five-year plan and absorb potential disruptions or delays to capital investments.

But after a 53% rise in the Antofagasta share price over the past six months, does it still represent the kind of value that should tempt investors to take a closer look? The Telegraph’s Questor investment column thinks it does based on the miner’s long term prospects and a price-to-earnings ratio of just 15 that offers a good safety margin with the FTSE 100 close to its all time high.

BHP Group

BHP Group

Headquartered in Australia with a dual listing in London BHP is one of the world’s biggest miners and was last year the second largest copper producer behind the Chilean state-owned miner Codelco. It’s not as pure a play on copper prices as Antofagasta because it also produces larges quantities of iron ore, nickel, coking and energy goal and gold amongst its metals and minerals portfolio.

But copper prices are very important to BHP and it is investing in increasing its output. Its dominant market position and the volume of its output means it will benefit if prices do hit record levels in 2023 as some analysts predict. However, with share price gains of 25% in the past 6 months and a potential hit to iron ore demand if the global economy struggles for a period, upside at the current valuation is questionable.

Southern Copper

Southern Copper

NYSE-listed Southern Copper is another relatively pure play on copper, though it does also produce smallish quantities of other metals and minerals. Its mines are located across Central and South America, in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and Chile.

The companies gross profits have have rising in recent years from $3.79 billion in 2019 to $7.15 billion in 2021. That’s expected to have dropped for 2022 when full year accounts are released but due to investment in expanding existing projects which should allow it to increase production, and profits, in the long term.

Basically, if the copper price stays strong over the next several years, Southern Copper could prove a wise investment. But it is very closely tied to copper prices so vulnerable to any negative turn the market for the commodity might take.

Investors convinced of the prospects for copper prices in the medium to long term might also consider copper ETFs, which build in some diversity across miners. The biggest is the U.S.-traded Global X Copper Miners ETF.

The post The investment case for copper miners – elevated prices are firmly supported by supply bottlenecks first appeared on Trading and Investment News.

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Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A…

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Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen in a file photograph. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to updated boosters, or bivalent shots, from Pfizer and Moderna in August 2022 despite there being no human data.

Observational data suggests the boosters provide little protection against infection and solid shielding against severe illness, at least initially.

Five months after the authorization was granted, no clinical trial data has been made available for the bivalents, which target the Wuhan strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron. Moderna presented efficacy estimates for a different bivalent, which has never been used in the United States, during a recent meeting. The company estimated the booster increased protection against infection by just 10 percent.

The FDA is preparing to order all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines be replaced with the bivalents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues recommendations on vaccines, continues advising virtually all Americans to get a primary series and multiple boosters.

Professor Calls for Halt to Messenger RNA Vaccines

A professor, meanwhile, became the latest to call for a halt to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both based on messenger RNA technology.

At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately,” Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement. “They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Levi was referring to post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis. The condition is one of the few that authorities have acknowledged is caused by the messenger RNA vaccines.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/02/2023 - 19:10

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Apple Pares Much Of Drop During Earnings Call

Apple Pares Much Of Drop During Earnings Call

Update 6:00pm:  Apple has staged a remarkable reversal after hours, and erased almost the entire…

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Apple Pares Much Of Drop During Earnings Call

Update 6:00pm:  Apple has staged a remarkable reversal after hours, and erased almost the entire loss after the company said that it expects a 5% impact from FX rates in Q2, and also expects iPhone revenue growth to accelerate in Q2. CEO Tim Cook was also asked whether the move to higher ASPs for the iPhone is sustainable in light of the sharp decline in sales, and whether this will continue in a worsening economy. Cook said the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max did extremely well until the supply-chain constraints. He says this is definitely a “strong Pro cycle” and credits the new features in the device. He says he’s happy that Apple is now shipping to the demand.

Tim Cook also said that AI is critical to Apple and mentions features like crash-and-fall detection and the use of AI in features like EKG on the Apple Watch. He says AI will effect everything the company does, including all products and services.

Apple is quite bullish on India and other emerging markets, with CEO Tim Cook saying the company will soon open its first retail stores in India. He also said Apple saw marked improvement in China in December (versus November) after another round of Covid re-openings.

As Bloomberg notes, the company also stuck to a line that revenue and sales of individual product categories would have been higher if not for supply-chain constraints and issues stemming from the macroeconomic environment.

* * *

With both Amazon and Google sliding after reporting disappointing earnings and mixed guidance, it was all up to the world's biggest company, AAPL, to provide some hail mary for the tech earnings season which for better or worse is concentrated in a one hour stretch this afternoon. Alas, it was not meant to be and after missing on the top and bottom line, AAPL has joined the parade of selling and tumbled after hours due to numbers which the market was clearly not impressed with.

  • EPS $1.88 vs. $2.10 y/y, missing estimate $1.94
  • Gross margin $50.33 billion, -7.2% y/y, missing estimate $52.03 billion
  • Revenue $117.15 billion, -5.5% y/y, missing estimate $121.14 billion
    • Products revenue $96.39 billion, -7.7% y/y, missing estimate $98.98 billion
    • IPhone revenue $65.78 billion, -8.2% y/y, missing estimate $68.3 billion
    • Mac revenue $7.74 billion, -29% y/y, missing estimate $9.72 billion
    • IPad revenue $9.40 billion, +30% y/y, beating estimate $7.78 billion
    • Wearables, home and accessories $13.48 billion, -8.3% y/y, missing estimate $15.32 billion
    • Service revenue $20.77 billion, +6.4% y/y, beating estimate $20.47 billion
    • Greater China rev. $23.91 billion, -7.3% y/y, beating estimate $21.8 billion
  • Cash and cash equivalents $20.54 billion, -45% y/y, estimate $29.91 billion

And here is AAPL's diluted EPS in context: needless to say, could have been better.

Commenting on the quarter, Tim Cook said that “during the December quarter, we achieved a major milestone and are excited to report that we now have more than 2 billion active devices as part of our growing installed base.”

CFO Luca Maester chimed in: “our record September quarter results continue to demonstrate our ability to execute effectively in spite of a challenging and volatile macroeconomic backdrop. We continued to invest in our long-term growth plans, generated over $24 billion in operating cash flow, and returned over $29 billion to our shareholders during the quarter. The strength of our ecosystem, unmatched customer loyalty, and record sales spurred our active installed base of devices to a new all-time high. This quarter capped another record-breaking year for Apple, with revenue growing over $28 billion and operating cash flow up $18 billion versus last year.”

Going back to the results, Apple missed consensus revenue in most product categories, with the exception of iPads, to wit:

  • IPhone revenue $65.78 billion, missing estimate $68.3 billion
  • Mac revenue $7.74 billion, missing estimate $9.72 billion
  • Wearables, home and accessories $13.48 billion, missing estimate $15.32 billion
  • IPad revenue $9.40 billion, beating estimate $7.78 billion

Of note: Apple recorded its first decline in iPhone revenue since the third quarter of 2020; yet in context, the 8% drop was still less than the 20% decrease reported by Samsung. Other major smartphone providers that have yet to report are expecting to see double-digit losses. Ironically, Apple may have fared comparatively well on smartphone revenue.

The silver lining: service revenue $20.77 billion, +6.4% y/y, beating estimates of $20.47 billion...

... and rose 6.5% Y/Y, an improvement from last quarter's 5.0%

One other place where investors were pleasantly surprised was China sales, which at $23.91 billion, beat the estimate of $21.8 billion by more than $2 billion.

None of that changes the fact that AAPL's sales by region were uniformly negative across the board.

And another potential problem: AAPL's gross cash continues to slide, dropping to $165 billion, the lowest since June 2014...

... while cash net of debt rebounded modestly from $49 billion to $54 billion, just above a 12 year low with the company having spent hundreds of billions on stock buybacks. Let's hope that Apple doesn't actually need to use that cash.

Commenting on the results, Bloomberg writes that the results show that Apple hasn’t been able to dodge the tech slowdown afflicting many of its competitors. Demand for smartphones and computers has slumped in the past year, and Covid-19 restrictions in China added to Apple’s woes during the holiday sales period. Timing was another issue: The company didn’t launch new Macs and HomePods until recent weeks, missing the end of the first quarter.

In response to these disappointing earnings, the stock predictably slumped as much as 4% before recouping some losses, although even with the drop it is back to where it was... yesterday.

Tyler Durden Thu, 02/02/2023 - 18:05

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