John Paczkowski

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Modest WWDC Expectations May Temper Apple Investors’ Response

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Asa Mathat | D: All Things Digital

Apple’s share price has dipped following the company’s annual World Wide Developers Conference keynote for four consecutive years, as investors had their perhaps overly exuberant expectations for the event recalibrated.

The day after the company’s WWDC 2009 keynote, the stock fell 1.3 percent; the day after its WWDC 2010 keynote, it dropped 2.6 percent. After the WWDC keynote 2011 and WWDC keynote 2012? Down 3.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively, according to BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.

Will Apple’s share price slip post-WWDC this year, as well?

The answer won’t be clear until markets open on Tuesday. But with expectations for Apple’s WWDC plans far more subdued than they have been in years past, there’s perhaps less risk of volatility than there might have been otherwise.

The reason? Some purposeful expectation-setting earlier this year from Apple CEO Tim Cook. During Apple’s second-quarter earnings call back in April, Cook told investors not to expect next-generation iPads and iPhones until at least September. Said Cook, “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services that we can’t wait to introduce this fall and throughout 2014.”

Those remarks will likely temper some share-price volatility that might have occurred had rumors of a June iPhone or iPad refresh persisted. Which isn’t to say that some investors won’t find something in which to be disappointed — there are those who invariably do — just that Apple has already dispensed with the obvious potential disappointments (no new iPhone!?! no Retina iPad mini?!?) by saying officially that they’re not coming until fall. And what is coming — iOS 7, OS X 10.9, and a fledgling Internet radio service — is known to be coming.

In other words, investor expectations and Apple’s WWDC plans may — may — actually be better aligned than they have been in some time. Which could bode well for the company’s shares post-WWDC. We’ll find out for certain come Tuesday.

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