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Apple stock could fall 10% after iPhone launch, top Apple-watcher Gene Munster says

  • Munster said the "biggest run-ups it's had going into a product cycle would suggest, typically, that you have a tail-off. And I would expect the same thing."
  • Over the period from Steve Jobs' introduction of the first iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007, until last year, Apple shares close lower 80 percent of the time on the day of the iPhone reveal, a Kensho analysis shows.
  • Apple's stock hit a fresh intraday high price of $164.94 per share on Sept. 1.

Apple's next iPhone cycle is expected to be one of the biggest yet — but that doesn't necessarily mean the stock will keep soaring, according to one of the company's most well-known followers.

There could be a 10 percent pullback in Apple shares in the next one to three months, Gene Munster told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Tuesday.

"The trading history over the past four years is a little bit difficult to look at — just what happens when the product's announced to three months after," said Munster, who covered Apple for years as a Wall Street analyst before becoming a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures.

"But the biggest run-ups it's had going into a product cycle would suggest, typically, that you have a tail-off. And I would expect the same thing."

Tim Cook
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tim Cook

Apple has invited media to an event on Sept. 12 where it is widely expected to release an iPhone with a significantly updated design, including a screen that takes up the entire front surface of the phone and eliminates the home button. Many analysts, such as Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi, have predicted that the new iPhone will be the most expensive yet and that this fall will mark the highest number of iPhone models that Apple has ever sold at the same time.

The release would come after Apple's stock hit a fresh intraday high price of $164.94 per share on Sept. 1, after rising just over 50 percent in the past 12 months. It's quite the rebound for the iPhone maker, after it posted its first yearly revenue decline since the dot-com bubble in 2016.

Apple tends to keep its future plans private and did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But an analysis from Kensho shows that over the period from Steve Jobs' introduction of the first iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007, until last year, Apple shares close lower 80 percent of the time on the day of the iPhone reveal.

"The simple reason is this: The stock's up 50-plus percent in the past year because investors have been anticipating the return to growth of the iPhone. As soon as that product comes out, people are going to shift their focus to the March and June quarters of next year. That's when the iPhone cycles are made or missed," Munster said. "So there's naturally going to be some people taking some profits."

CNBC's Harriet Taylor contributed to this report

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho. Munster owns shares of Apple.

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