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What Could Drive Apple Down to $400?

Tuesday - 1/1/2013, 9:00pm  ET

Not long ago, Apple's surge led market pundits to wonder whether it could hit $1,000 per share. In a past video, Eric Bleeker looked at forces that could drive the company to $800 a share, and today, as a balanced look at the company, he also examines the bear case: what could move Apple to $400 per share.

At $400, Apple would trade at about nine times today's earnings. However, that ratio would fall back to less than six times earnings after factoring in Apple's expected cash gains this quarter.

That kind of continuing P/E contraction seems unlikely, with Apple continuing to grow. However, with Apple expected to post negative earnings this holiday season, there is a scenario to be considered where falling iPhone pricing causes negative earnings growth across next year. Anytime a major tech company appears to be falling behind, such single-digit P/E multiples aren't uncommon -- just look at Intel, today trading at a similar multiple. Intel's a dominant company, but it's also seeing negative revenue growth, and investors fear it's falling behind in key areas.

That doesn't mean Apple will fall back to $400 or see a single-digit P/E, but its important for Apple investors to understand the threats ahead. To see Eric's full thoughts on the Apple bear case, make sure to watch the video.

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