Apple Inc.’s performance in China during last month’s December holiday season left analysts and shareholders wanting. Wall Street had anticipated sales of 55 million units for the company’s first fiscal quarter, ending December 31, 2013, and forecasting revenue of $46 billion. The reality was 51 million units shipped, creating sales of $42-$44 billion. While those may seem like mammoth sales figures, when the world’s most valuable technology company misses estimates by that much — after just gaining access to the world’s largest carrier base with the China Mobile deal — that’s cause for concern. There is so much concern, in fact, that analysts may be backing away from the orchard — another disastrous sign for the company’s share price. At least, that’s the message according to JMP Securities’ Alex Guana, “After showing modest signs of improvement, we’re back to a no-growth outlook… If it can’t prove that’s going to be a growth story again, then the valuation is too high.” So, in 2014, unless Apple has another major innovation in store, investors should think about leaving this potentially rotting fruit.
Coming on the heels of a 0.8 percent expansion in the third quarter, England’s gross domestic product grew by 0.7 percent in the final quarter of last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
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