“Frankly, it’s not a good sign for Apple. The last time purchase intent was this low for a Keynote event, Apple sales fell year-over-year for the first time in 13 years,” Swan wrote Thursday.
A quick glance at LikeFolio’s data shows that purchase intent mentions after a Keynote appear to be a reliable predictor of Apple’s stock movement over the nine subsequent months.
For example, shares gained ground in the nine months following Apple’s 2017 address, when social media intent-to-purchase mentions soared for the iPhone 8 and X. In a similar way, the stock fell in the nine months after the 2015 Keynote, with muted appetite for the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro.
In a similar way, in the nine months following the Sept. 9, 2015 media event— when Apple revealed the iPhone 6s and the iPad Pro — its stock dropped 9.5 percent against the S&P 500’s 9 percent climb.
“Two hours and four products later, the end result was a lower level of purchase intent mentions for Apple products/services than we had seen in either of the two prior years,” he added.
Swan did note, though, that the Apple Watch Series 4 was the “clear fan favorite,” boasting new FDA-approved heart monitoring features. The upgrades pose a major threat to Fitbit, he added, which plummeted following the reveal; the company’s stock is down nearly 7 percent this week.
And to be sure, Apple shares have been on a tear in 2018. Its stock is up more than 7 percent in the past month alone, adding to a 33 percent gain so far this year.
Despite the price gains, Apple is still relatively cheap based on its current performance.
Apple’s share price, at $226.41 as of Thursday’s close, trades at about 17 times analysts’ forecasts for 2019 earnings and 15 times expected 2020 earnings, according to FactSet.