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Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., the world’s largest technology company by market value, fell in U.S. trading amid concern about a drop in supplier orders, indicating potentially weaker sales of the iPad and iPhone.
Analysts at Cleveland Research Co. reduced their predictions for shipments of the iPad to 12 million from 14 million this quarter, citing information it gleaned from Apple’s suppliers. Ticonderoga Securities also said a survey of suppliers suggests slower sales of Apple gadgets.
The reports contrast with those issued yesterday by Piper Jaffray Cos., RBC Capital Markets and UBS AG, whose analysts said concerns about Apple were overblown. They were responding to a story from the Taiwan-based newspaper DigiTimes saying that Apple was buying fewer components for its devices. The conflicting reports illustrate the difficulty analysts have in predicting Apple’s financial results, which regularly exceed Wall Street expectations.
Apple shares declined 2.6 percent to $385.22 in U.S trading. The stock, up 19 percent this year, was the biggest laggard today in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by index points.
Cleveland Research lowered its quarterly profit outlook for Apple to $9.53 a share from $9.89. The analysts said “surprise revisions to orders” from Apple’s suppliers contributed to their decision to lower their outlook for iPad sales.
A survey of Apple suppliers by Ticonderoga Securities showed the weakest results since it started conducting the monthly sales checks earlier this year. While analyst Brian White expects strong year-end holiday sales from Apple, he said the survey was “too negative to ignore.”
White said the dip may be because Apple had already made big orders to stock up on components in advance of the iPhone 4S debut last month. The handset sold a record 4 million units in its opening weekend.
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