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Robert Trigaux

When Apple sneezes, does Jabil Circuit catch a cold?




Will a less enthusiastic market for Apple's iPhone5 mean less business for component supplier Jabil Circuit?

Wake up and good morning. So if the juggernaut that is Apple happens to sneeze, does St. Petersburg's Jabil Circuit - a supplier to Apple - catch cold?

That's the hint in today's (January 14) Wall Street Journal, which reports here that Apple has cut its component orders for the less-than-stellar introduction of the iPhone5. And, notes this December 14 blog posting by the Journal: Apple component suppliers like Jabil may be hurt by Apple's need to trim orders. Apple notified suppliers of the cutbacks last month, today's Journal story reports.

Now this is admittedly foggy territory. Jabil goes out of its way not to comment on individual client companies and especially avoids remarks about Apple, which has probably been a golden goose for Jabil as a long-time supplier of Apple components.

Still, it raises a warning flag for Jabil, in part because the company's done so well for so long. To its credit, Jabil's diversified into non-Apple businesses, like healthcare tech and solar (though solar's slowed lately).

By coincidence, Jabil just announced the date of its annual shareholders meeting, once again at the Renaissance Vinoy Golf Club on St. Petersburg's Snell Isle. It's next week on Jan. 24. Read details here and here is the full proxy statement.

This will be Jabil CEO Tim Main's last annual meeting as company CEO - though it's doubtful Jabil shareholders (mostly a docile lot) who attend will raise much concern about Jabil's exposure to Apple's latest bump in the road.

Main becomes chairman in March and Mark Mondello steps into the CEO shoes. Main received $9.2 million in compensation last year, down about $1 million from 2011. Mondello, who is COO, received just under $4.7 million last year, down from $5.5 million the year before. He's obviously due for a big pay boost once he becomes CEO.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times



[Last modified: Monday, January 14, 2013 7:04am]


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