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Apple Stock Slump Shows ‘Hyper-Growth’ Is Over: Chart of the Day

Anyone who expects Apple Inc.’s growth to rebound after sales and earnings shortfalls last quarter is “living in denial,” according to David Nelson, chief strategist at Belpointe Asset Management LLC.

As the CHART OF THE DAY shows, shares of the maker of iPhones and iPad tablet computers have trailed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and a gauge of S&P 500 technology companies since the company reported fourth-quarter results a month ago.

“This is no longer a hyper-growth company,” Nelson said yesterday in a telephone interview. Apple’s products are now reaching customers who are less likely to upgrade as newer models are released, he added.

Net income will rise 26 percent this fiscal year, 15 percent the following year and 8 percent in fiscal 2014, judging by the average estimates of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Profit at the Cupertino, California-based company surged 85 percent last year even though fourth-quarter earnings, amounting to $7.05 a share, and sales of $28.3 billion trailed projections.

Belpointe, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm, sold about 25 percent of its Apple shares three weeks before the latest earnings report and another 25 percent three days after its release, Nelson said.

“What Apple’s going through now is really a change in ownership,” according to Nelson, who said he uses an iPad for navigation when flying private planes. Investors focused on the best-performing companies are selling their stock, he said, while those seeking growth at a reasonable price are buying. Nelson outlined his views in a Nov. 15 blog posting.

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