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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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RE: Poor, poor Tony
By Reclaimer77 on 4/18/2013 7:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
OLED (Samsung) based displays have no backlight. The battery drain difference between rendering 1080p from 720p is negligible. At best.

I think the largest issue is that for 99% of consumers, 1080p is overkill

How magnanimous of you to speak for "99%" of the entire population.

"Oh this one has a higher res crisper display, it's obviously better,"

And they would be right. Newer halo phones with 1080p displays ARE objectively "better" than the last generation. That's kind of how technology works you know?

So I think the opposition you are facing is not because people are just against it

There is no opposition to it. And I'm basing this on sales numbers, a tangible fact that's hard to deny.

What we're hearing are a few holdouts who, for whatever reason, just don't "get it". And are spreading a bunch of FUD and general Luddite talk.

Personally I still have 480p WP7 device, but the text rendering is pretty nice

^Case in point^

If you spent a week with a 1080p smartphone, it would be impossible for you to objectively state you would want to go back to 480p. There's just no way.

To each his own.

Umm didn't you just speak for "99%" of everyone though?

RE: Poor, poor Tony
By retrospooty on 4/18/2013 7:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
"If you spent a week with a 1080p smartphone, it would be impossible for you to objectively state you would want to go back to 480p. There's just no way."

Exactly... I encourage anyone to walk into a Verizon store tomorrow and compare the Droid DNA screen to others. Take a look at any other 720p Android of the same size and throw in the iPhone5 as well. If you cant see the quality difference then please have your eyes checked before driving.

RE: Poor, poor Tony
By Flunk on 4/22/2013 9:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
Are you one of those people who swears they need 100fps in games or they get headaches?

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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