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Apple falls on lower analyst estimates; streaming iTunes rumors resurface

Apple rumors continue to swirl; company’s stock suffers after analysts cut estimates. (TIM WIMBORNE/REUTERS)

Apple shares closed down Wednesday after Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung cut his target price for the company’s shares. Yeung, according to a post from Forbes, trimmed his estimate to $480 from $500, saying that he expects softer sales for the iPhone and iPad than originally anticipated.

The Cupertino, Calif. company’s shares closed at $425.65 on Wednesday, down 5 percent from Tuesday. They have been dropping this week, hitting a 52-week low in Monday trading and closing at $420 per share. It’s been a fast fall for Apple, which blew past the $700 mark to hit a trading high of $705.07 in September.

Yeung’s estimates, Business Insider noted, would put Apple earnings below the company’s own guidance for the quarter.

A handful of analysts have lowered their estimates for Apple, citing worries about lower demand for its gadgets and the general market for high-end smartphones as markets such as the United States and Britain approach smartphone saturation.

Apple is in a fierce competition with Samsung to be the world’s most popular smartphone maker. Samsung currently holds that title, though new data from comScore Wednesday give Apple the lead spot in the United States.

The competition between the two smartphone giants got a bit more interesting Wednesday when Samsung announced that it had taken a strategic investment in screen maker Sharp, which also supplies screens for Apple products.

The Wall Street Journal noted that the deal, which gives Samsung a 3 percent stake in Sharp, gives the Japanese display maker a way to reduce its reliance on Apple.

Meanwhile, rumors about other Apple products are back — this time due to a Reuters report that chief executive Tim Cook has met with executives from the streaming music service Daisy, which was started by the Beats music company. Bloomberg reported late Tuesday that the service has raised $60 million and will be spun out as an independent service.

There have been plenty of rumors that Apple is launching a full streaming service through iTunes for years, especially after Apple began offering its users the option to access their music libraries in the cloud.

Related stories:

Apple’s next iPhone, more affordable iPhone coming in August, report says

Music piracy on the decline as digital music sales grow

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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