Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have received an average rating of “Buy” from the fifty-five ratings firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-one have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $169.11.
A number of research firms have recently weighed in on AAPL. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $151.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, April 24th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $176.00 target price (up from $165.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $176.00 target price (up from $168.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price (up previously from $165.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Guggenheim upped their target price on Apple from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd.
Apple (AAPL) traded up 1.37% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $157.45. The stock had a trading volume of 20,556,237 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $813.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.88 and a beta of 1.31. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $149.58 and a 200-day moving average price of $144.00. Apple has a 1-year low of $102.53 and a 1-year high of $161.83. Apple also was the target of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders purchased 139,415 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 119% compared to the average daily volume of 63,733 put options.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $45.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.94 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 20.87%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.42 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Apple will post $9.02 earnings per share for the current year.
Apple announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, May 2nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the iPhone maker to repurchase up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.62%. Apple’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.64%.
In related news, SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 31,625 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.13, for a total value of $5,000,861.25. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 112,430 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,778,555.90. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of Apple stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.58, for a total transaction of $5,515,300.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,168,283 shares in the company, valued at $184,098,035.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 299,911 shares of company stock worth $46,557,634 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Blue Sky Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Apple during the second quarter worth approximately $108,000. Hefty Wealth Partners boosted its position in Apple by 27.6% in the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 804 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC boosted its position in Apple by 852.4% in the second quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC now owns 800 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 716 shares during the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Apple during the first quarter worth approximately $117,000. Finally, Private Vista LLC purchased a new position in Apple during the second quarter worth approximately $122,000. 61.13% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Apple Company Profile
Apple Inc (Apple) designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. The Company’s products and services include iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, Apple TV, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, the iOS and OS X operating systems, iCloud, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings.
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