01/24/2013 10:07 EST | Updated 03/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Apple Shares Plunge 11% In Early Trading Following Earnings Report

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, file photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook soeaks during an introduction of the new iPhone 5 in San Francisco. Cook got a relatively modest $4.2 million in pay for 2012, after the company's board set him up with stock now worth $510 million for taking the reins in 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Apple shares are plunging after the company reported quarterly results that point to growth slowing after five blowout years.

The stock was down $50.68, or 9.9 per cent, at $463.32 in late morning trading.

Even with the stock's decline, Apple Inc. is the world's most valuable company, a position it's held for more than a year.

But it's now worth just 4 per cent more than No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp.

Late Wednesday, Apple reported October-December earnings that were flat compared with the year before.

It predicted sales growth for the current quarter of around 7 per cent —far from the 50-per cent-plus rate it's often hit in recent years.

Analysts believe Apple is unable to fully capitalize on the global smartphone boom with just one new — and very expensive — phone model every year.

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