Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has fallen by more than 18 percent since the start of 2013. The fortunes of long-term investors appear to have turned after years of sizable gains. Whether it is to be blamed on a bad economy, competition or a lackluster earnings report, the firm is not doing well.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock appears to be the exact opposite of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) to an incredibly exact degree, according to a cursory reading of the stock charts of the two companies. The firms, which make their money in remarkably different ways, compete indirectly in the mobile device market. Despite their differences, their recent stock charts are strongly inversely correlated.
As of market close on March 5th, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock was up about 18 percent YTD. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was down 18 percent. The trend gets less exact the further back you go. Throughout most of 2012 the charts followed each other, that all changed some time around the beginning of December 2012.
Since the first of that month, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is down 26 percent, while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has increased by about 19 percent. The trend is interesting though in fundamental terms it is essentially meaningless. However, right now, it does appear that the market has much more confidence in Google than it does in Apple.
That probably doesn’t trouble Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) right now. The company is still one of the world’s most valuable, even if it is no longer the most valuable company. Fluctuations in stock don’t seem to matter much at Cupertino, and the reelection of the company’s board of directors seem to suggest investors are still willing to give those in charge the benefit of the doubt.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not picking up on lost interest in Apple, because the companies, despite the indications of forum flame wars, do not directly compete with each other. Google is an advertising company. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a hardware company.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) does appear to have a stronger moat right now. Apple’s real competition, Android makers like Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), is catching up in terms of product features. Depending on who you listen to, Samsung models may have already surpassed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of quality.