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There has been an awakening. An event is coming. Do you feel it? Wait, wrong plug. I’m just hyped for Star Wars.
Yeah, it’s the multi-annual Apple event. To watch CNBC and not think about offing yourself, you’d be under the impression this only happens once a year. Nope, this is just the iPhone announcement, and Siri wants to drop some knowledge on us.
It also means business channels and news networks get to wring their hands about Apple not making investors happy. Giant margins? Check. Profits? Double check. Managing to convince consumers they are innovating feedback on a touchscreen? Triple check and apologies to Blackberry.
What the hell, I’m pissed now. About? No idea, but outrage culture says I should be angry Tim Cook isn’t flying in on Tesla with a SpaceX rocket attached to it from his Uber app, complete with the second season of Narcos and enough Amazon crap to fill my house.
Something like that.
It turns out we are being told Apple investors just aren’t feeling the iPhone. In the past 30 days, shares of AAPL are off about 5%. Hmm, did the world crack in half? Two ways of looking at the five percent drop.
One is the black and white way. You know zero context of global events. Just grab a chart and roll with it because why not?
The other involves context of those previous 30 days. Whoa, that involves comparing world market events with the fact Wall Street has assigned Apple bellwether status. Easy now.
Let’s go context-free first.
Using the past run-ups to iPhone launches, the stock has gained an average of five percent. Granted, you don’t want to be holding options the day of the event, but it’s been a decent play to buy the rumors and get the hell out of the way of event day.
Of course, the average gain is propped up by the 3GS, 4 and 5C/5S launches. All three enjoyed mostly double-digit run ups. Then no one bought the 5C.
Of course Apple is partly to blame for the stock performance. 74% of its gross profit lies with the iPhone. Depending on how depressing you are at cocktail parties, that’s either a mark of success of a company or it’s doomed to stumble at some point. Maybe both.
Its other products have failed to reach a critical mass of must have products. Apple Watch? Not sure why I’m buying an expensive paperweight destined to be obsolete.
The iPad? Well, it turns out that’s just a TV in your pocket, and you’re not happy to see me. When a screen is that big, it has the net effect of cannibalizing other products.
Apple Music? Unknown and won’t be known for at least another year. Just a note. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player. What company won that war again? Right…
Apple Stock Malaise
Apple has had a crappy summer since about July. Its performance is worse than the broader market in comparison to the highs. Apple is off about 18 percent from its peak.
Why? It’s not because people are pissed Apple isn’t making a TV. China is a problem. For a country that was steadfast against intervening, they are taking the firehose approach with serious gusto.
Go figure, a communist country BSing growth numbers. Never saw that coming. Yet, iPhones continue to activate daily, and the PBOC continues to plug holes as they appear. Does that last? Do you stand on a bridge during a flash flood? Same principle.
Then there is the United States. The slightest hint of a rate hike is met with a freakout. Flash crashes. Wild market swings. Oh, and we’re overdue for a pullback. You remember economic cycles, right?
In the end, the Apple event is just that. An event. We all tune into our favorite liveblogs, bemoan the fact it doesn’t come standard with this or that and then we buy it.
Investors? After that August, they have bigger issues. For one, the retail investors beat hedge funds for once. Will they come back to Apple?
Hate to point out the obvious, but they never left.