Flat earnings push Apple stocks down

<p>Apple’s share price fell on its latest earnings.</p>

The share price of Apple fell in the US last night (January 27th) following the release of the latest earnings figures by the company.

It announced a flat set of results and this led to stocks in the firm falling by more than eight per cent as investors reacted negatively to the company's recent stagnation.

Apple revealed that it recorded profits of $13.1 billion (£7.9 billion) during the October to January quarter, which was slightly above the expectations of analysts.

However, the company also announced that it was lowering its sales outlook for 2014, which led to some investors electing to sell off their shares in the firm, which makes devices such as the iPhone smartphone and the iPad tablet computer.

Record sales

Apple boss Tim Cook revealed that the company has secured record sales for both the iPhone and the iPad, with 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads sold. Sales of the iPod – the iconic digital music player launched by Apple in 2001 – fell by 55 per cent and Mr Cook admitted that the market for the device was shrinking.

Apple is now forecasting revenue of between $42 billion and $44 billion for 2014, which was slightly less than had been predicted by analysts ahead of the results.

A new deal with China Mobile has been an immediate success for Apple, with Mr Cook revealing that it has already had "the best week for activations we've ever had in China" this year.

While Apple shares fell by more than eight per cent on the back of the flat earnings, stocks remain close to the firm's 52-week high of 550.14.

"We generated $22.7 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.7 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the December quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to over $43 billion," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer.

Apple has seen growing competition in both the tablet and smartphone markets in recent months, with Samsung emerging as its main competition in the sector.

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