Apple Stock Continues Sell-Off Ahead of Earnings

Shares in Apple continued a multiday retreat ahead of the company’s Q2 earnings report scheduled for after the market close on Tuesday. AAPL has shed $76.23 per share from the closing high of $636.23 set on April 9th, a loss of 12 percent.

AAPL Chart for April 24th, 2012

Source: Yahoo! Finance

The primary driver for the sell-off appears to be concerns over iPhone growth, concerns sparked by a downgrade on April 9th by Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research. Mr. Piecyk argued that an effort by U.S. carriers to cut back on smartphone subsidies would result in slowing iPhone sales going forward.

While some analysts have dismissed those concerns as “overdone,” shares of AAPL nevertheless entered into a correction, selling off 12 percent in the two weeks since that downgrade. That still leaves the stock up 38.2 percent since it ended 2011 at $405 per share.

Apple will announce earnings for the March quarter—the company’s second fiscal quarter—later on Tuesday, after the markets close. The company will be hosting a conference call with analysts at 5:00 PM EDT. The Mac Observer will be offering live coverage of the conference call and detailed coverage of Apple’s results throughout Tuesday.

In the late afternoon session ahead of the market’s close, AAPL was trading at $560.00, down $11.70 (-2.05 percent), on moderate volume.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.