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Big day for Apple stock: Key earnings report due

January 23, 2013|By Andrew Tangel | This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
  • People walk in front of the 5th Avenue Apple store in New York City.
People walk in front of the 5th Avenue Apple store in New York City. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images )

Apple investors will soon find out whether their fears are founded, as the tech juggernaut is set to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings Wednesday afternoon.

[For the Record, 7:32 a.m. Jan. 23: An earlier version of this post stated that Apple was due to report its fourth-quarter earnings. It is to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings.]

Apple's stock has fallen nearly 30% since September, in a sell-off fueled by reports of waning iPhone 5 sales and questions over whether Tim Cook can lead the company through the post-Steve Jobs era. Investors also worry that Apple could be losing market share to rivals, or that profits could suffer if it makes cheaper phones and tablets. 

Apple won't report its earnings until after the closing bell on Wall Street.

Apple shares gained $5.08, or 1%, to $509.85 shortly after the opening bell Wednesday.

Analysts have said they expect Apple to meet or exceed expectations in its quarterly earnings, but the key may be whether the company adjusts its sales and profit forecasts.

"If the company gets on the call and provides a positive outlook to sales, then investors will be relieved," Walter Piecyk, a research analyst at BTIG, told The Times last week. "But any reduction in earnings guidance could scare people."

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