Apple shares sputter after profit decline

The company's stock price hangs around $400 as investors grapple with an earnings report showing an 18 percent drop in profit balanced by strength in iPad and iPhone sales.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's shares were hovering around the $400 mark again today, and not in a good way.

By the end of trading on Wednesday, the shares had largely pulled themselves out of their funk, closing at $405.46, just a hair below the previous day's close.

But things were a bit gloomier in the first few hours of trading Wednesday, when shares in the high-profile technology company were generally down 1 percent or more to just around $401, with a handful of dips into the $399 range or below. Shares had closed Tuesday, just ahead of Apple's earnings report for its fiscal second quarter, at $406.13.

Shareholders didn't appear willing to invest heavily in the company or dump their shares, instead taking a wait-and-see approach.

That's likely due to Apple's mixed results for the company's most recent quarter. During the period, Apple reported earnings of $9.5 billion on $43.6 billion in sales. The company's profit slid 18 percent year over year, disappointing some shareholders. However, with 37.4 million iPhones sold during the quarter, the company outstripped Wall Street's expectation of 34 million units. Apple also sold 19.5 million iPads.

Apple shares last week also took a brief trip below the $400 mark, after a long and steady decline from more than $700 a share last September.

Update 1:40 p.m. PT:Added Apple's closing price for the day and adjusted the top of the story accordingly.

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