Apple (AAPL) Hits Fresh 1-Year Low

Just when we thought Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) could fall no lower, shares of the world’s largest company dipped to a new one-year low today.

At $422.36 just before 3 p.m. eastern time, Apple shares are at their lowest point since January 24, 2011. The stock is now down 21% year-to-date, and 40% since late September. This latest decline has pushed Apple’s market cap below $400 billion for the first time since early last year.

As of this moment, in fact, Apple has again lost its claim as the world’s richest companyExxon (NYSE: XOM) sits at $399.5 billion, just ahead of Apple at $397.5 billion.

At just 8.4 times forward earnings, Apple remains cheap. But the stock has been relatively cheap for months and that hasn’t stopped its ongoing slide.

With new products such as the iWatch and the iPhone 5S rumored to be coming out later this year, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Apple will eventually turn things around. This latest decline again creates an inviting entry point into (one of) the world’s largest companies.

Still, we’ve been fooled before in this five-month Apple slump. Few thought the stock could go any lower after it hit a one-year low of $439 in late January. Many analysts said the same thing in mid-December when Apple shares dipped below $510.

Most experts are still bullish. The median price target among 45 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters is $610, with a high of $888 and a low of $465. In other words, the average analyst believes that Apple shares will gain 45% from here, while the most pessimistic of the bunch thinks the stock will “only” rise another 10%.

That said, Apple’s decline is approaching half a year. Regardless of new iPhones, iPads or iWatches, at this point the stock may have to prove it can recover some of its recent losses before it can convince the average investor to dive back in.

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