Apple Stock Plummets After Sales Miss Analysts Estimates

For many Wall Street analysts the phenomenal growth of the iPhone might be near its end, as sales for the smartphone missed their mark of 50 million for the year’s fourth quarter that was set by Wall Street. The announcement by Apple of lower than anticipated sales for the iPhone underscores the fears that the iPhone might be losing its unique allure.

Apple’s earnings reports has been highly anticipated during this earnings season and disappointed many when flat profits were announced along with sales slightly missing estimates. Once investors received the news, the stock plummeted by close to 10% in Wednesday’s in afterhours trading. On Friday morning, the stock fell even more and was down nearly 51 points to 463 as of 11:00 am ET.

During the last three months of 2012, 47.8 million iPhone units were sold by Apple, which barely missed the 50 million estimate. The company’s revenue at $54.5 billion was slightly below the $54.9 billion projected by analysts. Profits for the Cupertino-based company remained flat at $13.1 billion.

Revenues for the Americas continued to increase and were at $20 billion a 15% increase over the last quarter of 2011. However, it appears that the continued recession in Europe has allowed some of Apple’s rivals, including Samsung, to gain some share in the market with their handsets that are lower priced than the iPhone. Growth for Apple was down from 55% in 2011 to 11% in the most recent quarter in Europe.

Since the company was given the title as the most valued company in the world when its stock reached an all time high of $705.07, in September of 2012, shares have fallen by 30%.

Apple’s iPad continued its strong growth trend with 23 million new units sold during the last quarter of 2012, an increase over the 15.4 million that were sold in the last quarter of 2011.

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