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How Healthy Is Apple? Look at Its Suppliers

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After a 40 percent decline, Apple shares have been rallying since it reported earnings in late April. It’s the reverse of the process markets saw in late 2012, when the stock continued to sell off aggressively. JMP Securities Analyst Alex Gauna said the rally is nothing more than a dividend-driven bounce. The real story, he said, can be told by looking at the company’s suppliers.

Most suppliers that sell into the mobility space for Apple performed 11 percent lower in March. The companies hurt the most were those with the highest exposure to Apple -- and the companies with some exposure to Samsung, such as Qualcomm, Broadcom and Skyworks, guided relatively better.

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Gauna told “Big Data Download” that Apple doesn’t add enough diversity. Samsung is coming out with a whole range of models: more affordable products for emerging markets, the mainstream Galaxy S4, and larger note-type products. Gauna said this makes Samsung the market leader.

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Besides diversification, Gauna said he wants to see timely execution to Apple products. Supplier data hint that consumers won’t get an iPhone refresh until fall, which Gauna characterized as dangerous, since Samsung continues to roll out new, innovative products.

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