Apple shares closed yesterday at their lowest point since 8 February 2012 after a year in which the stock reach the heights of $705 (on 21 September). The stock closed at $485.92 last night after hitting a low of $483.38 during the day. (It is currently trading at around $499 as of 3pm GMT on 16 January). 

Apple shares closed yesterday at their lowest point since 8 February 2012 after a year's trading saw it reach the heights of $705 during trading on 21 September. 

The plummeting of Apple's share price follows a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday evening that claimed the company had halved its component orders for the iPhone 5. As we reported yesterday, it has since emerged that the report included inaccuracies which were later removed; was an old story that broke last December; and that call options written this summer are due to expire on 19 January - suggesting stock manipulation may be taking place.

The reaction to the reports and the plunging of AAPL continues today, with founder of DoubleLine Capital Jeff Gundlach predicting that the stock has even farther to fall. Speaking on CNBC’s 'Squawk on the Street' Gundlach said: “Not because I'm a bond guy or stock guy, but because I'm a market guy. I've been around for a long time and I know that when something goes vertical like Apple did from $425 once the bubble pops it goes back down to the point at which it lifted off," reports International Business Times.

Gundlach described the stock as being in a "consolidation period", he thinks that it will continue to hover around this level while "the stock market stays locally reasonably strong," suggesting that any economic problems in the US may impact the Apple stock. 

Not so fast…

On the other hand, Market Research DisplaySearch said that while it is true that there has been a reduction in shipments of displays for the iPhone 5, this doesn't mean the device's popularity is suffering.

DisplaySearch's Paul Semenza told Cnet: "We started hearing indications of cutbacks before the New Year," adding: "It was a very quick ramp up. The Q4 [estimate] was originally about 61 million displays [for the iPhone 5]...that may be dialed back, but anything near that number is still huge."

Semenza also said: "If the number of orders are cut, that really has nothing to do with yields."

DisplaySearch has reduced its original estimate of 57 million iPhone sales in the first quarter to a range of 33 million to 42 million, notes Cnet.

As we noted in our Analyst expectations for Apple's 1st quarter of 2013 story earlier this week, Apple is expected to report iPhone shipments of between 43.06 million and 63 million for the quarter, according ot analyst expectations.The highest estimation comes from Traderhood's Nicolae Mihalache and the lowest, surprisingly, from Topeka Capital's Brian White (despite his $1,111 price target on Apple). By comparison, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2012, and 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter that ended on 30 September. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims his supply chain checks suggest that Apple shipped 52 million units during the first quarter of its fiscal 2013 (October – December).

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