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Why Are Apple Shares Getting Killed?

Tickers in this article: T AAPL
Update from 11:11 A.M. to include analyst comments regarding de la Vega's comments in sixth paragraph.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) Apple (AAPL) shares are getting taken to the woodshed Wednesday on reports of a margin hike at one clearing firm and concerns over component supplies falling next year.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple is down nearly 5% early Wednesday, and traders are searching for an answer as to why the world's largest technology company is trading like a small-cap. Street Insider reported that COR Clearing has raised its margin requirement on Apple, moving from 30% to 60%, "citing a 'high concentration'" of ownership.

As if a margin hike wasn't bad enough for shareholders, there are concerns that components for Apple may fall as much as 20% sequentially, according to DigiTimes. DigiTimes has been spotty with its Apple rumors in the past, but a slowdown in component supplies could be a worry that demand for Apple's products are not as robust as once thought.

CNBC producer John Melloy noted that other clearing firms are not following suit, per his sources.

That appears to contrast with what AT&T (T) Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega is seeing. At a media conference in New York, de la Vega said Apple's business is "growing faster than ever."

Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt believes de la Vega's comments are bullish, and likely to alleviate fears of upgrades. "As it relates to global iPhone sales, we still expect the U.S. to represent only about one-third of global sales, so it is difficult to draw too much of a conclusion from this data, but certainly de la Vega's commentary appears to have squashed any existing fears of sluggish upgrade demand for the iPhone 5 at AT&T," McCourt wrote in a research note discussing Apple.

A decline in component supplies that much would suggest that Apple is approaching a period in which new products may be scarce, as Apple revamped its entire product lineup in 2012, most of it coming in the back half of the year. In June, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line at its Worldwide Developer Conference, which TheStreet covered live.

September saw the announcement of the iPhone 5 and October had a huge product refresh with Apple announcing a new iPad, iMac, Mac Mini, and iPad mini.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

Shares were down sharply, off 4.24% to $551.45, in mid-Wednesday trading.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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