Apple Quarterly Earnings Lower Than Expected
Apple Quarterly Earnings Lower Than Expected

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Apple are falling after it did something un-Apple-like: posting results below Wall Street expectations.

Late Tuesday, Apple Inc. reported that in the latest quarter, earnings rose a mere 21 percent from the year before, not the 33 percent analysts were expecting. It was a rare miss for Apple, which is the world's most valuable company.

In afternoon trading Wednesday, the shares are down nearly 4 percent to $578.30.

Apple executives say consumers appear to be holding off on buying iPhones before a new model comes out, even though it isn't expected until October. They also shifted their buying toward cheaper models of iPhones and iPads.

The company was also hurt by the strengthening dollar, which reduced the value of overseas sales, and by economic turmoil in Europe.

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