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Apple—Not a Top Stock?

Like they say: 'Oh, how the mighty have fallen.' It seems analysts at Citi have benched a company that was once a major league player.

Only last year it was a darling of Wall Street and a hedge fund favorite, but today Apple failed to make the cut in Citi's latest ranking of so-called world champion stocks.


And the list was pretty long — it included a total of 50 stocks with many of Apple's tech peers including Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm all making the cut.

Is Apple too injured to play ball with the big guys?


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Trader Stephen Weiss, managing partner at Short Hills Capital, worries that it is.

Although he concedes other stocks that made the list, such as Microsoft, don't have better growth characteristics – he thinks competition in the smartphone market is too intense to feel good about Apple.

"The issue is the iPhone," Weiss said. "It's a high priced device with more than 50% of profits at Apple coming from the phone. Margins are twice that of the competition."

Weiss thinks with such strong competition in the space, Apple will have a hard time keeping the price high and the margins where they are.

Trader Pete Najarian, co-founder of OptionMonster is on the other side. He said that Apple is a second half story. And with shares pulling back from $700 to $450, he thinks at current levels the market will accept lower margins.

Pete's brother, Jon Najarian, says much the same. "The stock have gone through a 30% correction. At these levels, I see it as a value. I don't understand why Citi doesn't."

Trader disclosure: On February 22,2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to bementioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "FastMoney" traders; Stephen Weiss is long C; Stephen Weiss is long AIG; Stephen Weiss is long BAC; StephenWeiss is long QCOM; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; JoeTerranova is long SJM; Joe Terranova is long MJN; Joe Terranova is long AXP;Joe Terranova is long JPM; Joe Terranova is long DIS; Joe Terranova is long FB;Joe Terranova is long BRKb; Joe Terranova is long GS; Joe Terranova is longSWN; Joe Terranova is long XOM; Joe Terranova is long FLS; Joe Terranova islong KORS; Pete Najarian is long AAPL; PeteNajarian is long BAC CALLS; Pete Najarian is long JPM CALLS; Pete Najarian islong MS CALLS; Pete Najarian is long YHOO; Pete Najarian is long BBRY; PeteNajarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT;Pete Najarian is long PFE; Pete Najarian is long MRK; Pete Najarian is long MRKCALLS; Pete Najarian is long GSK CALLS; Pete Najarian is long JOY CALLS; PeteNajarian is long calls in LVS

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AAPL
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GOOGL
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MSFT
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QCOM
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