Are Analysts Gravitating Toward Fitbit Inc and Away from Apple Inc.?

Analyst sentiment toward Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is back near 2009 levels, while the Street is fully behind Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT)

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:22 PM

Reports are circulating that sales of the Apple Watch have fallen off precipitously, with MarketWatch citing research firm Slice Intelligence, which puts the decline at 90%. They're not the only ones suggesting a drop in demand for Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartwatch. In a recent interview with Barron's, Paul Hickey and Justin Walters of Bespoke Investment Group said they've seen sentiment toward the Apple Watch continue to decline since September.


Taking a look elsewhere on the Street, the majority of analysts still maintain a "buy" or better opinion on AAPL -- 22 out of 34, to be exact. However, even though the bias toward the stock appears bullish, analysts have been growing less and less fond of the shares for some time now. Just take a look at the chart below, courtesy of Schaeffer's Quantitative Analyst Chris Prybal.

AAAAPL

Clearly, many traders have moved their "buy" ratings down to "holds." In fact, current sentiment toward AAPL roughly resembles the outlook from 2009 "crisis" levels. It's also interesting to note that a brokerage firm hasn't issued a "sell" rating on the equity since around that same time.

Interestingly, this comes at a time when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeing fresh smartwatch competition on the Street, thanks to newcomer Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT). It just so happens FIT has so far appealed to analysts; all the brokerage firms covering FIT say it's a "buy." Furthermore, just yesterday Baird stated Fitbit polled better than its competitors in its May fitness band survey. At last check, AAPL was off 1.8% at $123.46, while FIT had gained 0.4% at $42.31. 


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