Apple Inc-China Mobile Pending Deal Cause Stock Decline, Analysts Remain Positive for 2014

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By Reissa Su | December 21, 2013 11:35 AM EST

Apple Inc's deal with China Mobile was the most anticipated agreement by investors as the world's biggest mobile carrier was expected to make a big announcement on December 18. However, the day had passed without a single word from both parties, leaving investors disappointed. When the Apple-China Mobile deal didn't materialise on the expected date, Apple Inc's shares went down 0.76 per cent or at $550.77 by the end of December 18.

According to China Mobile chief Xi Guohua, the company is still in the process of negotiating a deal with Apple so they cannot announce anything yet. China Mobile has previously announced it was releasing a 4G network which fueled rumours that it was going to reveal a deal with Apple soon.

China Mobile is the only major telecommunications company that doesn't offer iPhones. Its rivals, China Unicorn and China Telecom, have already offered Apple's iPhones to their subscribers. Although there are existing iPhone owners using China Mobile, they are limited to a 2G network.

A major obstacle in the China Mobile deal was blamed on the terms and conditions of Apple Inc, according to Forbes' Tim Worstall.

Despite the delays in the Apple-China Mobile deal, Apple analysts have remained optimistic. They know what it means for Apple Inc to close the China Mobile deal. The Cupertino-based tech giant will have access to China Mobile's 759 million customers if the deal pushes through, which means more sales and greater market share.

Apple Inc has topped Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster's list of best stocks to watch out for in 2014 with a $640 price target.

Analysts at Jefferies have agreed with others in increasing their long-term predictions and price targets for Apple Inc. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek has raised his price target of Apple shares from $600 to $650 based on his survey in the current quarter.

Mr Misek believes Apple's December quarter will be strong with "stable trends" compared to data from the September quarter. Jefferies surveyed one of Apple's Taiwanese suppliers with a 40 per cent rate of exposure to the company's revenues. Analysts saw an increase on a month over month basis with an increase of 8 per cent compared to 2012 on a year over year comparison.

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