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Getting to the Core Issues With Apple

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One year and one month after the death of Steve Jobs, is anything really wrong with the stock? The pros and cons from traders.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is currently trading in the $554 range, up 5% on the day, but down 27% from its 52-week high of $705.07. While some in the market say that Apple has reached a tipping point, others are more sanguine and essentially argue to "Keep Calm and Trade On."

Here's what Minyanville has heard recently from traders on both sides of the argument.

CON

"How long can Apple dominate without a visionary? Steve Jobs built Apple [into] what it is today and it appears most of its current successes have been the result of carrying through his ideas. Where will the quantum leaps come from?"

"Tim Cook has irreparably damaged Apple's reputation by changing map apps when the Apple version didn't work as well as Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG)."

"Apple's global market share decreased to 15% for Q3, the first time since Jobs died."

"The cool factor is gone. Apple stores are filled with late adopters -- the parents and grandparents of the original 20- to 30-year-olds."

"Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google are building new 'ecosystems,' which are cutting into Apple's hold. Early adopters are moving to Android or Windows phone."

"Who is there left to buy Apple stock? The market is saturated. By some estimates, 4800 funds hold the stock. Institutions are doing more selling than buying and the individual investor buys only when the stock is rising."

PRO

"Apple's price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) during the reported trailing year is about 15, roughly the same as the P/E of the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), and a bit lower than that of the technology sector as a whole. Apple's P/E has gone up in each of the past four quarters, meaning the market is willing to pay more for each dollar of Apple's earnings."

"The sell-off is not tied to the company. Apple selling is being driven by fears that the tax pain could be an additional 8.8% if you don't sell this year. That takes into account a bump in long-term capital gains rates and the Obamacare extra tax of 3.8% for top earners."

"Nothing really changed in Apple's most recent quarter; the company earned 27% more year-over-year, but the market was 'disappointed' profits only grew 23%. Apple sold 30 million iPhones, which represents a nearly 60% unit growth. iPad sales grew by nearly 30%."

"Apple has huge margins and a massive cash supply. Plus, [it has] $3 billion set aside for research and development. If you presented those facts without mentioning the name 'Apple,' people would be going crazy."
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