PARIS -- Shares in French digital security company Gemalto slumped on Monday as investors worried that Apple's (IW 500/4) new SIM card for its latest iPads could threaten part of Gemalto's business.
"Apple's new iPads launched last week may begin a material shift in operators' attitudes towards SIMs ... and a threat to Gemalto's largest revenue stream," analysts at Barclays said in a note to clients.
Gemalto shares have lost as much a fifth of their value since last week when US tech giant Apple announced that it would begin integrating SIM cards directly into its tablets.
"This new risk factor adds to the already cooling excitement for operators' SIM-based wallets," said Barclays, predicting that Gemalto shares could fall as low as 50.27 euros.
They fell as much as 9.7% to 53.12 euros in Paris, before recovering to close the day just above the flatline at 59.17 euros. The broader CAC 40 index lost 1.0%.
Gemalto makes part of its profits from installing chips and managing payments in the fast-growing mobile transactions market.
But analysts now think that Apple's decision to work directly with Visa and Mastercard could squeeze Gemalto out of the market, particularly if the new move spreads to Gemalto's home market of Europe, from the US and Britain.
Gemalto wants its Platforms & Services business, which houses the part that could be threatened by Apple, to grow at a compound annual rate of 20% a year to generate revenues of 1.0 billion euros ($1.3 billion) by 2017.
Gemalto dismissed the threat from Apple, saying the market "did not understand Gemalto's business" and they remained world leaders in providing the "ultra-secure platform" required for such transactions.
"With this process, there will be a recurring need for remote management. This is rather good news for us. When the market understands that, it will largely correct," Gemalto added.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014