Apple shares close below $500 as investors fail to shake worry

The stock today has been hit hard, despite recent claims by analysts saying iPhone sales will remain strong.

Things aren't going like this anymore.
Things aren't going like this at the moment. CBS

Apple investors can't seem to shake their concern over the company's future.

Shares in the iPhone maker ended the day at $485.92, down just over 3 percent for the day after having closed yesterday at $501.75. In trading today, Apple's stock never rose above the $500 mark.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal cited sources who said that Apple had cut component orders for its iPhone 5 due to slumping demand for the handset. That bad news pushed Apple's shares lower yesterday as investors became concerned with the company's ability to compete as effectively in the mobile market.

Earlier today, however, several analysts tried to calm fears , saying that while Apple's component orders are down, iPhone 5 demand has stayed strong. The declining orders are believed to be the byproduct of improved yields, meaning production is becoming more efficient and actually improving Apple's iPhone margins.

Apple's stock has been hit with a downward trend over the last several months. In the last three months, Apple's shares are down 22 percent. The company's stock is also far off its 52-week high of $705.07. Apple's 52-week low is $419.55 -- not too distant from its current price.

The bearish view investors have taken on Apple's stock stands in stark contrast to analyst estimates. According to data from Marketwatch, which tallies the research from 54 analysts, Apple has an average target share price over the next 12 months of $735.

Earlier today, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu reasserted his belief that Apple is a "buy," adding that he believes the company's shares could jump to $840 in the next 12 months. Baird analyst William Power said he believes Apple's shares could rise to $750.

Update at 1:08 p.m. PT: Added Apple's closing price.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.



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