After being passed over by Amazon and Microsoft last year, Apple's loss means that it now has $40 billion less than rival Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
While the company was the first to hit a market cap of $1 trillion last August, it is now valued at around $680 billion, behind No. 1 Microsoft ($765 billion), Amazon ($747 billion) and Alphabet ($730 billion).
If the shares drop more than 9 percent, this will be the second biggest slide in the company’s history. The last time Apple’s shares dropped so much was in January of 2013, when it fell by 12 percent after the company reported December iPhone sales below estimates at 47.8 million.
Analysts think that Apple sold 64 million iPhones in Q4, but previously said that number would be around 73.5 million. In November, the company said it would no longer share unit sales for products.
Apple mostly blamed the economic slowdown in China and the ongoing trade war with the country for the missed projections.
“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China. In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad,” Cook wrote to investors. “China’s economy began to slow in the second half of 2018. The government-reported GDP growth during the September quarter was the second lowest in the last 25 years. We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States.”
Also on Thursday, Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs said Apple may have to lower its forecasts for the full year.