Apple once enjoyed the crown as the most valuable company. However, their stock has been sliding in recent months and with it their market capitalization has fallen by about $250 billion. To put that into perspective, they lost the rough equivalent market value of Google.
Apple has fallen to a market value of about $413 billion while Exxon has claimed the most valuable title with a market value of roughly $418.2 billion. Apple stock has slipped a bit in the past week dropping 12% on Thursday and continuing the fall on Friday.
Apple “was clearly a momentum stock. Whenever the numbers behind momentum stocks stop, the momentum players are out and the stock tumbles,” said Kim Forrest analyst for Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
What was the reason for the drop? Many analysts point towards iPhone sales for the last quarter. Apple shipped a record 47.8 million iPhones in the December quarter. This is up 29 percent from a year earlier. For most companies, those numbers and that kind of growth would be great. However, the reason it hurts Apple is because analysts projected 50 million iPhones to be sold and Apple fell short of that estimate. The increasing market share of Android phones may have also contributed to the slip in stock prices.
This is a reality that Apple has had to face. With all their success in the last few years, the bar has been set to something they can’t quite reach. And even though sales may be great, when they don’t meet expectations it can be a problem for shareholders.
So how does Apple turn this around? As great as the iPhone 5 was, it didn’t do enough to excite consumers. With the next iPhone, Apple will need to kick it up a notch to get consumers excited and take away some of the market share from Android.