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Trump inflates Apple's share price since his inauguration; wants company to build iPhone in the U.S.

Posted: , by Alan Friedman Alan Friedman

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During a chat with reporters today, President Donald Trump made his first comment on the shellacking that Apple's shares took yesterday (via C-SPAN). After the market closed on Wednesday, the company lowered its revenue guidance for fiscal Q1 of 2019, stating that fewer consumers in China upgraded to the latest iPhone models than expected. That led to a 10% decline in Apple's shares on Thursday.

While the president says that he isn't worried about Apple's stock price decline and the widespread tech rout that accompanied it, he also fails to take responsibility for the U.S.-China trade war that has dampened China's economy. Trump initiated the trade war by imposing tariffs on Chinese imports into the states due to his belief that the U.S. trade deficit with China means that the U.S. is losing some sort of ball game with the country.

Once again, the president tossed out some incorrect stats in an attempt to prove his point. Talking about Apple's stock, Trump said that the shares have "... gone up hundreds of percent since I'm president. Apple was at a number that was incredible and they're gonna be fine; Apple is a great company." The truth is that since the day of his inauguration in January 2017, Apple's shares are up 26.7% taking into account dividends and splits. During the Obama administration, Apple's share price (adjusted for dividends and splits) rose from $7.48 to $116.35, a greater than 15-fold move. But that was over an 8-year period. To be fair, let's look at Apple's performance over a comparable time frame. From January 20th, 2017 to January 4th, 2019, Apple's shares rose 22.2% under Trump. From January 20th, 2009 to January 4th, 2011, the stock rose over four-fold under Obama.

While Trump did say that Apple is a "great company," the president wants Apple to move its manufacturing from China to the U.S. Making another promise that he has no control over, Trump said today, "China is the biggest beneficiary of Apple, more than us ... I want Apple to make their iPhones and all of the great things that they make in the United States, and that'll take place."

Back in July 2017, Trump said that Apple will build "three big plants, beautiful plants" in the U.S. He was quoted as saying, "I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big. I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward." However, Apple never promised the president that it was building these factories, and Cook never told Trump that Apple was building these facilities in the U.S.

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