Apple gets clobbered by Wall Street

The fruity peddler of broken iDreams, Apple has lost more than $14 billion worth of value after a leading Wall Street outfit realised that people were paying too much for Jobs’ Mob’s shares.

According to Reuters, JMP Securities’ analyst Alex Gauna downgraded the stock saying that there were signs that things were not all that great at Apple and no one appeared to be noticing.

Gauna said that the signs were all there. There was a sharp pullback in sales growth at Apple’s largest Asian contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision which was a sure indication that business was also slowing at the iPhone and iPad maker.

Another problem for Jobs is the lucrative gadget-obsessed Japanese market which has had a huge dose of what is actually really important served up to it in the last few weeks. Apple has not tried to launch its new iPad toy there.

It is also a place were Steve picks up a lot of his components although most think that Apple has enough clout to get enough gear,

However Guana thinks that people have got too complacent about Apple and assumed that prices will just go up and up.

People need to make sure, he says, that they’re comfortable with the situation – especially since there’s just so much uncertainty right now. Gauna downgraded Apple to “market perform” from “market outperform.”

It is the second bad day in trading for Apple. The outfit has lost close to $22 billion in value over two days.

Other traders are starting to see Guana’s point. Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S has a “sell,” “hold” or “neutral” rating on the stock.

Other are insisting that Apple sales will continue to rise. Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner told Reuters that Apple’s contribution to Hon Hai’s revenue was “limited,” and made light of attempts to correlate performance.

Ticonderoga analyst Brian White said the shift toward the iPad 2 meant a gradual ramp-down of original iPad output, which could in turn have taken the air out of Hon Hai’s sails.

Before this week, Apple’s stock price had doubled over 18 months.