Bold words from Apple CEO fail to stop share price plunge

Despite records revenues, investors are worried about slowing growth and iPhone's destiny

LAST UPDATED AT 09:02 ON Thu 24 Jan 2013

APPLE shares plunged more than 10 per cent wiping $50 billion off the company's value after the tech giant posted financial results yesterday below expectations.

Revenues hit a record high of $54.4 billion in the last three months of 2012 (up 18 per cent) and 47.8 million iPhones were sold - but it was not enough to satisfy investors.

The Financial Times says that concerns over slowing growth, profitability and the long-term popularity of the iPhone left the company's shares trading at $461.31 compared to a peak of $702 in September.

Chief executive Tim Cook defended Apple's performance saying: "Apple is in one of the most prolific periods of innovation in its history. We're very confident in our product pipeline."

The firm sold 22.9 million iPads in the Christmas quarter compared with 15.4 million in the same period in 2011. Cook said sales of the latest iPad mini had only been held back by supply constraints and he cautioned analysts to ignore stories about the company cutting back orders from component suppliers.

Mac and iPhone 5 sales were also held back by problems encountered in making enough of the devices. The iPhone 4 continued to sell out.

Apple profits were $13.1 billion and profit margins were 38.6 per cent compared with 44.7 per cent a year ago. The decline is partly due to the fact that the iPad mini is less profitable than its big brothers. · 

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"Chief executive Tim Cook defended Apple's performance saying: "Apple is in one of the most prolific periods of innovation in its history. We're very confident in our product pipeline.""

-- squeak squeak

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