Investor sentiment for shares in Apple Inc. has dropped precipitously in recent weeks, as measured by Crowd Technologies and its Piqqem measuring platform. Apple’s Piqqem Sentiment has dropped from 50.1 near the end of April to 34.6 in mid-July, a rarity for the company which has heretofore always been rated in the top three of the companies followed by Piqqem.
Piqqem’s raison d’être is to use the “wisdom of crowds” to “accurately predict the movement of stocks.” The company gathers data from Piqqem users who enter price predictions on various and sundry stocks, with Apple being one of the most active stocks within the Piqqem community (we should also note that Apple’s first outside investor and former Chairman Mike “Ace” Markulla helped launch Piqqem with a round of angel funding).
According to the company, this sentiment measurement is very often an accurate prediction of where a company’s stock price will trend in the future, and more recently the company’s CEO, Jett Winter, said that it has been accurately predicting earnings reports for the companies rated.
Apple’s Piqqem Sentiment from April 1st to July 14th of 2010
“In the end,” the company wrote in the report obtained by The Mac Observer, “only Apple knows their actual results and current sentiment points to the iMac & iPhone giant delivering good results on Tuesday, but there may be clouds forming for the future – a future where Apple is no longer the darling underdog, but the 700 pound gorilla that everyone else is gunning for.”
That said, Piqqem itself noted in its report that analyst sentiment remains quite bullish on Apple, with 15 of 40 analysts covering the company revising earnings estimates higher in the last 15 days, while none has revised their estimates lower during the last 30 days.
Apple announces its 3rd fiscal quarter results for the June quarter on Tuesday, July 20th.
As noted in the chart above, Apple’s Piqqem Sentiment first took a hit on April 29th when Apple CEO Steve Jobs released his Thoughts on Flash open letter. At that time, Apple’s Piqqem Sentiment took a 7-point drop. In late June, Apple’s Sentiment rating took another 4 point drop after reports of problems with the newly released iPhone 4 began making the rounds.
Over all, in a few short weeks, Apple’s Piqqem Sentiment has dropped from Very Positive to Neutral, while at the same time the broader overall market sentiment has risen two points.
Apple’s stock dipped in the opening hours of trading Monday, but gained back half that loss to close lower, at US$245.58, down $4.320 (-1.73%), on strong volume of 36.6 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.