Cook's China comments lawsuit gains class-action status

Posted:
in AAPL Investors
A lawsuit brought against Apple by an English council over comments made by Tim Cook about iPhone demand in China has been granted class-action status.




A group of shareholders led by the UK's Norfolk County Council has succeeded in converting its lawsuit against Apple to a class action version. The move opens the lawsuit up to any affected shareholder, and potentially raises the stakes for the iPhone maker.

The lawsuit deals with commentary by Cook during the November 2018 earnings call, in that the CEO said Apple was seeing sales pressure in some markets. However, Cook went on to state "I would not put China in that category.

In 2019, Apple revised its revenue guidance prediction down because of lower iPhone sales in China. Shareholders, including Norfolk County Council, believe the revised guidance was too late, and that Apple should've foreseen the issue.

After being informed in November 2020 that the shareholders could bring a proposed class-action suit over accusations the company concealed falling sales demand, the group's proposal was granted, reports The Telegraph.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers advised Apple had failed to dismiss the council's efforts to turn the lawsuit into a class-action suit, referring to Apple's arguments on the matter as "distortions."

Norfolk County Council is involved as it runs the Norfolk Pension Fund, valued at multiple billions of pounds. In the original lawsuit, it was claimed the fund lost close to $1 million over the comments.

The change to a class action suit does more than enable more shareholders to join in against Apple, as it also reduces the standard of proof required by claimants. Under a "presumption of reliance," the council wouldn't need to demonstrate that it made trading decisions after hearing Cook's analyst call comments.

According to Apple, Cook's comments were a statement of opinion, and therefore protected. The claim "fails to plead any actionably false or misleading statement."

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    killroyfred1jas99watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 38
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,397member
    Wasn't there ALREADY a shareholder suit over this? Wasn't laughed out of court?
    killroyjas99radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Lost close to $1 million over the comments. LOL
    killroyviclauyych2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 38
    KTRKTR Posts: 250member
    I personally believe that people are trying to put apple down or at least make them look bad.  I say, the apple tree has strong rots and can withstand any tornado.  Fight it Tim Apple
    mac_dogkillroyjas99radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 38
    KTRKTR Posts: 250member
    and or hold apple back

  • Reply 6 of 38
    Weak tea. Very weak. 
    killroywilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 38
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 38
    thttht Posts: 4,630member
    So, uh, the fund bought AAPL in July to October time frame of 2018, and then sold AAPL in December of 2018 to March 2019 for it lose money? If they held their AAPL stock or bought AAPL in that time frame, they would have a 400% gain now, in 3 years!

    Can't believe anyone has any standing here, and that a judge doesn't throw out the lawsuit as there is no standing whatsoever. This fund manager made the fundamental mistake of buying high and selling low. You win some and lose some as nobody is perfect. Also can't believe fund managers can even be declared a "class".
    killroyviclauyycfotoformath2pjas99watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 38
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,018member
    mr lizard said:
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    And how many other companies have made even more egregious claims? 
    edited February 14 killroyjas99watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 38
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,397member
    mr lizard said:
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    However if Cook had taken these RUMOURS and said "Yes it looks like our sales might tank due to instability in the China market" that WOULD have done a LOT more damage to the stock value and shareholders. As it was the price took a dip in January, but recovered and climbed higher in a few months. Honestly, as there was at that point no way to know for sure if there was going to be a problem this was the best way to handle these unsubstantiated rumours.

    And let's be honest, at the time of Cook's statement it was just some friction between the US and China. It was a couple weeks later that #45 made a bunch of statements and made things massively worse.
    edited February 13 jas99radarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 38
    On all Statements from Apple, there are the standard warnings about Forward Looking Statements, and that Apple is under no obligation to make corrections. 

    That would seem to me foreclose any lawsuits period. 

    Funny, I've never relied on the statements of any corporation about their future endeavors when making purchasing or selling shares. I didn't think anyone would be dumb enough to.

    But, I guess I'm wrong and I guess the courts don't seem take the warnings about forward looking statement seriously. 
    killroyviclauyycgregoriusmjas99radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 38
    y2any2an Posts: 135member
    If they were long term investors they would have gained $100/share by now. To have list $1m implies they literally dropped the stock based on a shiver. Not serious investors. 
    jas99radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 38
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,686member
    mr lizard said:
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    It was not a "profit" warning. Apple warned that (gross) revenue was going to fall about 5% below expectation. Apple never give guidance on future "profits".

    As it turned out, even with the 5% shortfall on (gross) revenue, it was Apple Inc. second best quarter based on revenue and profit and a record for earning per share. For sure it would had mostly likely had been the most profitable quarter in Apple Inc. history (at the time), if it weren't for the revenue shortfall. But that is not a certainty.   

    https://www.macrumors.com/2019/01/29/apple-1q-2019-results/

    As it turned out, AAPL ended up higher the day (Jan. 28, 2019) after they reported earning than it was the on the day (Jan. 2, 2019) after Apple Inc. issued the warning. And AAPL finished the year (2019) with a 98% gain. ($39.48 to $73.41) The warning wasn't even a speed bump to AAPL rising share price that year. 

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AAPL/history?period1=1541030400&period2=1577836800&interval=1d&filter=history&frequency=1d&includeAdjustedClose=true

    The hardest part about making a lot of money investing in AAPL is not about knowing when to buy ...... but knowing when not to sell. Most of my friends that have invested in AAPL regrets selling too early (for no other reason than they thought AAPL has peaked and they didn't want to be greedy), not that they didn't buy AAPL earlier, when it was much cheaper.  
    jas99radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 38
    tht said:
    So, uh, the fund bought AAPL in July to October time frame of 2018, and then sold AAPL in December of 2018 to March 2019 for it lose money? If they held their AAPL stock or bought AAPL in that time frame, they would have a 400% gain now, in 3 years!

    Can't believe anyone has any standing here, and that a judge doesn't throw out the lawsuit as there is no standing whatsoever. This fund manager made the fundamental mistake of buying high and selling low. You win some and lose some as nobody is perfect. Also can't believe fund managers can even be declared a "class".
    The class is any owner or Apple stock. They owned tens of millions of dollars of Apple stock. That’s all the standing the pension fund needs. You have no idea what you are talking about and even less knowledge of the legal issues that are involved. You don’t know a single thing about managing a pension fund. You need to stick to tech and leave legal issues, financial and securities law to those who know something about them and have some relevant experience other than being an Apple fanboy.

    Seriously, I get it. You’re pissed off and think it’s just another stick your hand in Apple’s wallet lawsuit. It maybe, in which case I hope it dies quickly, but you and most of the rabid fanboys commenting just don’t know too much about this other than you know you are angry.

    I don’t know where the other commenters are getting their data from but in the week after Apple revised their guidance and announced it the company value dropped over $450 billion that day. At the time the company had a market value of $1.1 trillion. Cook knew plenty or was misled. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/03/apple-stock-falls-after-cutting-q1-guidance-on-weak-iphone-sales.html
  • Reply 15 of 38
    What is even a UK council getting involved in this ?
    They are there solely for residents of the area to look after services.

    Getting involved in things they should not.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 38
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,686member
    tommikele said:
    tht said:
    So, uh, the fund bought AAPL in July to October time frame of 2018, and then sold AAPL in December of 2018 to March 2019 for it lose money? If they held their AAPL stock or bought AAPL in that time frame, they would have a 400% gain now, in 3 years!

    Can't believe anyone has any standing here, and that a judge doesn't throw out the lawsuit as there is no standing whatsoever. This fund manager made the fundamental mistake of buying high and selling low. You win some and lose some as nobody is perfect. Also can't believe fund managers can even be declared a "class".
    The class is any owner or Apple stock. They owned tens of millions of dollars of Apple stock. That’s all the standing the pension fund needs. You have no idea what you are talking about and even less knowledge of the legal issues that are involved. You don’t know a single thing about managing a pension fund. You need to stick to tech and leave legal issues, financial and securities law to those who know something about them and have some relevant experience other than being an Apple fanboy.

    Seriously, I get it. You’re pissed off and think it’s just another stick your hand in Apple’s wallet lawsuit. It maybe, in which case I hope it dies quickly, but you and most of the rabid fanboys commenting just don’t know too much about this other than you know you are angry.

    I don’t know where the other commenters are getting their data from but in the week after Apple revised their guidance and announced it the company value dropped over $450 billion that day. At the time the company had a market value of $1.1 trillion. Cook knew plenty or was misled. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/03/apple-stock-falls-after-cutting-q1-guidance-on-weak-iphone-sales.html
    You questioning where others commenters are getting their data from and their ability to interpret the data was not a good look for you, considering you're actually thinking that Apple Inc. lost over 40% ($450M) of their market cap  ..... in ONE day, going by where you got your data from.

    That is not what your link stated. It stated that on the day after Apple warning, AAPL was down $450B from its high from last year. Not yesterday. Apple only lost about 10% of it's market cap, the day after the warning. AAPL went from $39.48 to $35.55. Or a drop of about $70B in market cap. Apple market cap at the time of the warning was only about $700B. Which was down 40% from its 2018 high of $1.1T.  

    AAPL had already dropped from $51.87 on the Nov. 2 2018 date of Apple 4Q 2018 earnings (where the $89B to $93B revenue estimated was announced.) to $39.48 on the date of the warning. The warning came after market closed. The $35.55 for AAPL on the day after the warning, was the low for the year (2019). AAPL never traded any lower than $35.55, for the rest of the year. And the $3.93 drop in AAPL the day after the warning, did not amount to 40% of Apple market cap. 

    Apple hit the $1T market cap on Aug. 2, 2018 with AAPL at $51.85.  At the time of the warning, AAPL all time high was $58.02 on Oct. 3, 2018. Apple surpassed that high on Oct. 11, 2019 with AAPL closing at $59.05. AAPL ended the year at  $73.41. 

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AAPL/history?period1=1530403200&period2=1577836800&interval=1d&filter=history&frequency=1d&includeAdjustedClose=true

    BTW- Those numbers are split adjusted. If you even know what that means. 






    edited February 14 applguyradarthekatthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 38
    DAalseth said:
    mr lizard said:
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    However if Cook had taken these RUMOURS and said "Yes it looks like our sales might tank due to instability in the China market" that WOULD have done a LOT more damage to the stock value and shareholders. As it was the price took a dip in January, but recovered and climbed higher in a few months. Honestly, as there was at that point no way to know for sure if there was going to be a problem this was the best way to handle these unsubstantiated rumours.

    And let's be honest, at the time of Cook's statement it was just some friction between the US and China. It was a couple weeks later that #45 made a bunch of statements and made things massively worse.
    No, I’m not suggesting that Cook respond to rumours. I’m entertaining the notion that at the time of the rumours it would also have been evident to Apple that problems were emerging in China, but I also genuinely believe that Apple thought that those issues would subside and not impact their guidance. 

    I can’t imagine for a moment that Apple enjoyed issuing a profit warning and a material adjustment to its guidance a matter of weeks after saying sales in China were not a concern. 

    They made a choice around their initial guidance based on what they thought would play out. But I do not for one moment believe that they were completely blindsided by China sales tanking several weeks later. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 38
    davidw said:
    mr lizard said:
    byronl said:
    ah yes! because apple is supposed to time travel into the future so their predictions are 100% correct, with no room for error.
    I’m not defending the lawsuit here, but the earnings call was in November and Apple’s now famous profit warning was on January 2nd. There were already rumours of pressure in China, which Cook’s comments brushed aside. 

    The notion that Apple had no idea they had a problem a mere six weeks out is laughable. It raised questions at the time. 
    It was not a "profit" warning. Apple warned that (gross) revenue was going to fall about 5% below expectation. Apple never give guidance on future "profits".

    As it turned out, even with the 5% shortfall on (gross) revenue, it was Apple Inc. second best quarter based on revenue and profit and a record for earning per share. For sure it would had mostly likely had been the most profitable quarter in Apple Inc. history (at the time), if it weren't for the revenue shortfall. But that is not a certainty.   

    https://www.macrumors.com/2019/01/29/apple-1q-2019-results/

    As it turned out, AAPL ended up higher the day (Jan. 28, 2019) after they reported earning than it was the on the day (Jan. 2, 2019) after Apple Inc. issued the warning. And AAPL finished the year (2019) with a 98% gain. ($39.48 to $73.41) The warning wasn't even a speed bump to AAPL rising share price that year. 

    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AAPL/history?period1=1541030400&period2=1577836800&interval=1d&filter=history&frequency=1d&includeAdjustedClose=true

    The hardest part about making a lot of money investing in AAPL is not about knowing when to buy ...... but knowing when not to sell. Most of my friends that have invested in AAPL regrets selling too early (for no other reason than they thought AAPL has peaked and they didn't want to be greedy), not that they didn't buy AAPL earlier, when it was much cheaper.  
    Profit warning, gross revenue warning… thank you for the correction, although that’s not the point I was making. It was sufficiently material for them to issue something to correct their guidance several weeks earlier. 

    The rest of your comment is interesting but, no offence, not what I was talking about and so might serve better as a stand-alone comment rather than a response to mine. 
  • Reply 19 of 38
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    Blaming the gambling habit on others.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 38
    What is even a UK council getting involved in this ?
    They are there solely for residents of the area to look after services.

    Getting involved in things they should not.
    This is their employees' pension fund and not the part of the council that provides services.

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