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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 TakinYourPoints on 4/22/2013 7:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Coming back to this late because retro pointed me to it.

I sold against AAPL by selling call option spreads, but I didn't short the stock because trying to call a top or bottom is insanity. Fighting the trend is a losing battle most of the time.

I didn't short AAPL stock but I did short call option spreads that profited when the stock declined, or more importantly the calls didn't expire with any value. Positions like that can profit even if the stock doesn't go down at all, only goes sideways, or even goes up (which it did during my first AAPL position).

Here were my first trades against AAPL. Both were made about 5 weeks before their respective expirations:

Sold August 665/670 call spread for .70, a 16% return in 4 weeks since it expired worthless with the stock at around $650.

Sold September 720/725 call spread for $1, a 20% return in four weeks.

Note that both of those trades against AAPL profited despite the stock going up. This is why I said I had no idea when to short the stock, but I was still able to profit on it stagnating or make an easier profit if it did turn around.

I made two other trades against AAPL on the way down, one in November and another in February, avoiding it in October and January because I generally don't like to trade around earnings. Both were selling call spreads and not shorts on the stock.

And since you brought up AMZN, I traded against it twice, once in September (sold 275/280 spread) and again in January (sold 300/305 spread), both 15% returns.

I also don't dare short actual AMZN stock. The market can stay irrational far longer than one can be solvent, and AMZN with no earnings is one of the most irrational stocks around.


"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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