Shares of Imagination Tech Plummet as It’s Abandoned by Apple
Imagination Tech stock crashed on Monday by over 70% after the company, based in Britain, announced its largest customer Apple Inc., would no longer use its graphics technology in iPads, iPhones or Apple Watches.
Apple, which Imagination said represents close to half its overall revenue, notified the company it has been developing graphics chips of its own and would not use the processing designs of Imagination within the next 15 to 24 months.
Stock in Imagination, which Apple has a stake of 8%, plunged Monday to just 76 pence the lowest since 2009 and close to one tenth of its record level of 734 pence reached back in 2012.
The largest risk to the business model of Imagination was realized on Monday, said analysts. The revenue stream loss will have a big material impact on the company’s financials, said analysts.
As of 5:00 am. ET, shares of Imagination were down 61%, which gave the business a market value of just over £298 million equal to $372 million or approximately £463 million less than what it had been worth upon closing last Friday.
The tech company licensed its different processing designs to Cupertino, California Apple from as far back as when the iPod started and receives royalties on each graphics chip used in every device.
However, Imagination said it did not think Apple could use its own designs along without being in violation of patents held by Imagination, confidential information and intellectual property and analysts said there could be legal battles going forward.
Imagination said it requested the evidence, but Apple declined to provide any. Imagination was founded during 1985 and went public in 1994.
Shares of Imagination were up sharply from 2009 through 2012 due to a boom in the smartphone business and Intel and Apple bought stakes in the business.
The company had been valued at over £2 billion or $2.5 billion back in April of 2012.
However, it struggled to lower the reliance it held on Apple and had been facing more competition from companies such as Qualcomm and ARM both large chipmakers. ARM, a rival based in Britain, developed graphics to complement its blueprints in core processing.
Imagination said it held a 50% share of the global high-end smartphone market, but just 7% of devices that are mid-tier, where it has attempted to win more share, including in handsets made by companies in China.