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Stock briefly dips below $400 USD, analyst predicts earnings miss

After quarters of confounding Wall Street "expert" analysts with better-than-expected earnings, could Apple, Inc. (AAPL) be on the verge of a highly uncharacteristic miss of its own earnings target?  That's what Citigroup Inc. (C) analyst Glen Yeung predicted in his research note, citing supplier information as pointing to weaker-than-expected iPhone and iPad sales.

That prediction has been boosted by Cirrus Logic Inc. (CRUS), which provides audio chips for the iPhone and iPad.  Cirrus warned investors Wednesday in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings results that its margins had weakened and that it was taking a large charge on unsold inventory of audio chips.

Cirrus's chip stock fluctuates primarily with the sales of its largest customer Apple's devices.  Thus the large stock of unsold chips indicates weak sales of Apple's flagship devices.

Vernon Essi Jr., an analyst at Needham & Comp. told The Wall Street Journal, "[The warning] indicates that the recent fears of Apple's lackluster iPhone demand...are warranted."

Since the passing of iconic leader and late CEO Steven P. Jobs, Apple has continued to grow steadily under the quiet leadership of new CEO Tim Cook, but some fear the company is losing its marketing luster.  Apple's faces tough competition from Android rivals -- particularly Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and Google Inc. (GOOG) -- who have been more aggressive in updating their products' hardware and software.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook has voiced concern about his company's plunging share prices.
[Image Source: Bloomberg]

Apple, which last year bumped the screen size of its iPhone to 4-inches, has largely been coasting on a "if-it-isn't-broken-don't-fix-it" approach to its operating system.  While sales were strong last quarter, investors hammered the company's stock, concerned about weakening margins (profitability).

For a while it looked like $420 was a solid floor that the stock would resist breaking through.  But amid the supplier warning Apple's stock plunged briefly below $400 USD.  It is currently trading around $403 USD.  Apple has lost over a quarter trillion dollars in market capitalization over the last half year, since hitting a record $700 USD per share last September.

Overall, the tech sector was down on Wednesday, but Apple's stock sunk more than most, dipping over 5 percent on the bad news.  Rival Google Inc.'s (GOOG) stock is trading around $780 USD, down ~1.5 percent.  Google's market capitalization is currently around two-thirds that of Apple, as its stock hovers around record highs of $800 USD per share.

Source: Cirrus Logic [press release]

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By p05esto on 4/17/2013 2:47:21 PM , Rating: -1
The Apple/Facebook/Twitter/Google days are over... people are waking up to their crappy products, DRM, restrictions, overpriced junk. Maybe I should not have included Google in that list but if you use Chrome you know about how they use your data, require you to "log in" and god that browser sucks...there are no options! You either use it the way it's built or pound sand. I can't see anyone using that POS.

RE: fried
By Motoman on 4/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: fried
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 2:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well...that and the fact that you'd have to root it to be able to do something as sensible as uninstalling pre-installed apps that you have no desire to ever use, or waste storage space for.

RE: fried
By Pirks on 4/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: fried
By Sazabi19 on 4/17/2013 4:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
Um... That is not the fault of the OS, you can thank the manufacturer and the carrier for that. Same goes for any other phone out there that the carrier/manufacturer gets their hands on.

RE: fried
By fic2 on 4/17/2013 4:39:20 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, Apple is such the pinnacle of freedom to do anything you want on the phone that you bought....oh, wait.

RE: fried
By GreenEnvt on 4/17/2013 3:24:23 PM , Rating: 4
Um, no you don't.
You can use and android phone without a gmail account if you so please.
You won't get access to Google's services like gmail, play store, and others though.

You can side load apps if you so desire as well.

Also, even if you do decide you need some functionality only available to users with google accounts, I believe you don't even need to have a gmail account, just a google account. You can create a google account using an email address of your choice (setup a throwaway hotmail account, then make a google account using that email address). I don't have a spare phone to test that on at the moment, but I think that is accurate. Obviously apps like gmail won't work, but market/play store and several others should.

RE: fried
By nikon133 on 4/17/2013 4:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
Annoying but not really a deal breaker, for me at least. I created Gmail account and use it for situations I don't want to use my main account. You know, for silly registrations you know will spam you everafter.

I'm not checking that account, unless I registered for some forum or whatever and have to click on emailed link to confirm registration. In that way, my Gmail account is very useful... as a spam filter.

Not that I'm saying Gmail is bad email provider, on the contrary. But like many others, I didn't see a reason to move from email I've already been using for years.

RE: fried
By piroroadkill on 4/17/2013 5:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to use the gmail account.
I sign into my google account on my android handset, but I don't have Gmail set to sync, and I removed the gmail icon from my apps list.

So it may as well not exist. I use another email account using a good email client called AquaMail...

RE: fried
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2013 5:49:51 PM , Rating: 3
The one thing that really irritates me about Android is that you *have* to have a Gmail account to use it.

No you don't. Why would you say this?

Of course you need a Google Account to use the Play Store, but that's not the same as Gmail. Linking an account to your phone also lets the market app know what phone you have so that it will only show compatible apps, or when you are browsing the market on the web, it will show a notification if the app is compatible or not with your phone I don't know ANY ecosystem where you're not at least required to make a basic account to use the services (iTunes/App Store, Windows Marketplace etc etc).

You can make a Google Account full of false information and use it JUST for the Play Store, and link your existing email accounts (which Android makes stupid simple) to your phone.

So honestly I don't know what your point is. Android is NOT about forcing you to do things. You post is just FUD.

RE: fried
By Kepler on 4/18/2013 4:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
You are not required to have a gmail account, I have had an HTC Incredible, HTC Rezound, Galaxy Nexus, and now an HTC Droid DNA (and a Nexus 4 on order). I at no time was *required* to make a gmail account. You can skip that portion during setup.

Of course you can't use Google Play/whatever services if you don't. You can sideload, or use Amazon's market or something though.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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