Apple (AAPL): Two Months To A 52-Week Low?

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has already dropped below its six-month low and it could break below its 52-week low in April. The stock traded between $99 and $100 the last few days of April 07. It traded at $117.18 today, down from $202.96 in late December.

Apple will announced its earnings the last week in April. If it does not nail its numbers and give positive guidance, the shares could easily fall below $100 again. Right now, analysts expect EPS of $1.05 up from $.87 in the same quarter last year. The consensus estimate for revenue is $6.95 billion, up 32%.

Analysts recently have expressed concerns about slow iPod sales. Quoted by Barron’s JP Morgan wrote “signs point to iPod saturation and some macro sensitivity.” Bernstein recently expressed concerns that iPhone sales were running below the rate that Apple hopes to hit in 2008.

Almost every Wall St. firm covering Apple believes that Mac sales are strong and should be through the quarter. That will not offset a slowing of iPod sales. There is a very real possibility that people who might buy an iPhone this quarter will wait to see if a 3G version is announced for shipment by the middle of the year.

Apple, of course, is not immune to a recession. PCs, smartphones, and digital media players are a luxury for many people. Apple may end up with the best product line of any consumer electronics firm in the world, but weak demand because of an economic slowdown.

Douglas A. McIntyre