NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple (AAPL) - Get Report were higher in late morning trading on Monday as research firm International Data says the worldwide smartwatch market experienced "growing pains" in the 2016 September quarter, resulting in fewer shipments than in the year-ago period.

For the overall market, smartwatch shipments slid 51.6% year-over-year to 2.7 million watches in the 2016 third quarter.

Apple shipped 1.1 million watches in the 2016 September quarter, a 71.6% decline over last year, IDC said.

The firm noted that Apple's second generation watch was only available for the last two weeks of the 2016 September quarter, and its year-old first generation device accounted for most of its sale volumes in the period.

Vendors were relying on "older, aging devices to satisfy customers" in the quarter, IDC said.

The firm added that the Cupertino, CA-based iPhone maker "maintained its position as the overall leader of the worldwide smartwatch market," controlling 41.3% of the segment in the past quarter.

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Apple will report fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and full-year earnings after Tuesday's market close. Wall Street expects earnings and revenue to fall year-over-year.

For the fourth quarter, analysts are looking for the company to report earnings of $1.66 per share on revenue of $46.99 billion for the fourth quarter. Last year Apple posted earnings of $1.96 per share on revenue of $50.50 billion for the same period.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL

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