Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be kicking off its big iPhone 6 unveiling event at 1 p.m. Eastern today, and everyone is ready. Will the company have any surprise goodies for investors and fans? Or will this year be nothing but another disappointment? Both Wall Street and the technology community have high hopes for today’s event.
Cantor Fitzgerald analysts are no different, as they’re expecting an announcement about a new product category and other good news for investors. They think the odds for Apple stock to outperform after the iPhone 6 event look good—despite historic declines in share price post-iPhone events.
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Apple Barometer rises
In a research note dated Sept. 8, 2014, analysts Brian White and Isabel Zhu note that last week was tough on Apple stock. They also report that preliminary August sales for their Apple Barometer were slightly lower than usual seasonality. They show that Apple suppliers’ sales rose by about 4% to 5% month over month. That’s lower than the average of a 7% increase in the last nine years, although it’s similar to the 5% increase in August of last year.
They point out that Apple’s fourth quarter for the 2014 fiscal year sales guidance is for sales growth of 3% at the midpoint quarter over quarter. The nine-year historical average is an increase of 17%.
Apple stock history before and after iPhone events
The Cantor Fitzgerald team said last week’s iCloud hacking seems “suspiciously timed,” as it coincided not only with the week before Apple’s iPhone event but also the unveiling of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s newest devices. The analysts believe these two events pushed Apple shares down 3.4% last week, compared to the .2% increase in the S&P 500 Index.
The analysts note that Apple stock has fallen 1.9% in the two weeks ahead of today’s event, compared to a .4% increase for the S&P 500 Index. That’s a 2.3% underperformance in the two-week period leading up to iPhone events in the past six years, which was an average outperformance of 1.5%. However, it’s not much different than the average 2.6% underperformance in the last three years.
In the one-week, two-week and four-week periods following the iPhone’s release, Apple stock has underperformed the S&P 500. The Cantor Fitzgerald team expects this year to be different, however, as investors may become excited about the entry into a new product category, possibly with the iWatch, and a better average selling price for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6.