Shares of Inseego (INSG -1.05%) fell Wednesday, closing down 11.7%, along with other 5G stocks. Though there was no direct news out on the company or the broader 5G industry, Apple's earnings report the previous night and management comments afterward may have had an effect.
First, Apple reported surprisingly robust growth in iPhone sales growth, up 8% and much better than expectations of a 1% decline. While that indicates that the iPhone 11 is a hit, it also could mean that consumers aren't holding out for an anticipated 5G iPhone later this year, which carries a broader warning for companies like Inseego, which makes hardware products including mobile 5G hot spots and is seen as a play on the coming 5G revolution.
On its earnings call, Apple also did little to burnish expectations for 5G. CEO Tim Cook dismissed one question about a 5G phone, saying, "We don't comment on future products," though he did allow that the technology was in its "early innings" of deployment. Inseego investors and others may have been hoping for more bullish comments about the 5G rollout and its potential.
Inseego shares have been on a tear over the last five months, nearly doubling as hopes for 5G have built, so investors may want to think of the sell-off as just taking some air out of the recent rally. 5G is still a small part of Inseego's business, as it was only expected to contribute $10 million in revenue in 2019, so it will take time for the new technology to have an effect on the company's financials. After Apple's comments, the need for patience may be beginning to dawn on investors.