Shares are rising after Tim Cook says the supply chain is improving

The supply chain guru has spoken.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday eased investors’ fears that supply chain problems rattling industries across the globe are starting to get better for the iPhone maker.

Cook told CNBC he expects supply constraints to improve compared to the December quarter. And Apple investors liked that. Apple shares rose as much as 5% in aftermarket Thursday. (The stock rose more than 4% on Friday morning.)

Despite the excitement surrounding the rosy picture Cook painted, his comments about supply chain improvements were not much different from some of his peers in the industry. From Intel to Tesla, executives have offered similar predictions of supply chain improvements through 2022. The difference: Shares in these companies fell after earnings, while Apple got a nice boost from investors.

Why?

Remember: Cook has built his entire reputation on being a supply chain genius. That’s a big part of the reason he got the director job after Steve Jobs resigned over ten years ago. (Cook is reportedly famous for negotiating parts down to fractions of a cent, for example.)

In fact, an analyst on Thursday asked Cook if he is happy with the structure of Apple’s supply chain. Spoiler alert: Cook said he has Apple’s supply chain just the way he wants it, and injects even more optimism into the idea that his company can navigate Covid’s disruptions until the supply chain’s problems are resolved over the coming year.

Still, Cook did not say much we had not heard yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk CEO said in his company’s earnings call on Wednesday that the company faces tough supply constraints, especially for computer chips, which the vehicles need. But Musk still expected solid growth for Tesla during the year, even though it will not be able to launch new products.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger also had positive things to say about the supply chain recently. He said last week that he expects “incremental improvements” of the supply chain through 2022, which is very similar to what Cook said on Thursday.

But things can get harder for smaller technology companies that make hardware. Sonos, the smart speaker company, raised prices last year due to additional costs in the supply chain. Roku, the maker of streaming video devices for TVs, warned investors last year that supply chain costs were hurting its margins. Companies like Xerox and Western Digital also had severe warnings for their supply chains this month.

These are signals that smaller companies may have a harder time dealing with the supply chain’s headaches than giants like Apple. (Even with all the extra costs, Apple continues to deliver incredible margins.)

Although still early in the earnings season, the narrative coming out of technology companies is clear so far: Titans like Apple are well positioned to protect themselves from the worst supply chain problems, and comments from Cook and his peers promise good for the entire industry. next year.

So far, however, the market has shown that it trusts Cook’s predictions in the supply chain above all others.

–CNBC’s Robert Hum contributed to this report.

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The supply chain guru has spoken. Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday eased investors’ fears that supply chain problems rattling industries across the globe are starting to get better for the iPhone maker. Cook told CNBC he expects supply constraints to improve compared to the December quarter. And Apple investors liked that. Apple shares rose…

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