Apple Inc. (AAPL) Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Brokerages

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the forty-nine analysts that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat Ratings reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, thirty-two have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $221.28.

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. BTIG Research upgraded shares of Apple to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $207.00 to $235.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Maxim Group cut shares of Apple from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $204.00 to $200.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Apple from $200.00 to $230.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of Apple from $203.00 to $210.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 5th. Finally, Nomura restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, July 16th.

In other Apple news, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 15,652 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.18, for a total transaction of $2,976,697.36. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 125,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $23,821,566.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Daniel J. Riccio sold 17,372 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $187.64, for a total transaction of $3,259,682.08. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 43,644 shares in the company, valued at $8,189,360.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 130,510 shares of company stock worth $24,499,179 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. 440 Investment Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 28.1% in the 4th quarter. 440 Investment Group LLC now owns 21,345 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $3,612,000 after purchasing an additional 4,686 shares during the last quarter. Convergence Investment Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Apple by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Convergence Investment Partners LLC now owns 48,902 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $8,276,000 after acquiring an additional 623 shares during the period. Strategic Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Apple by 2.0% during the 4th quarter. Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 63,208 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $10,697,000 after acquiring an additional 1,226 shares during the period. Whalerock Point Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Apple by 7.0% during the 4th quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC now owns 58,820 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $9,955,000 after acquiring an additional 3,866 shares during the period. Finally, Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Apple by 94.2% during the 4th quarter. Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 132,103 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $22,354,000 after acquiring an additional 64,080 shares during the period. 58.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Apple traded up $0.60, hitting $207.99, during midday trading on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 33,402,490 shares, compared to its average volume of 23,794,570. Apple has a 1-year low of $149.16 and a 1-year high of $208.74. The company has a quick ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 1.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,019.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 1.16.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 31st. The iPhone maker reported $2.34 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $53.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $52.43 billion. Apple had a net margin of 21.98% and a return on equity of 43.50%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.67 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Apple will post 11.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Apple announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, May 1st that allows the company to buyback $100.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the iPhone maker to purchase up to 11.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 16th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.73 per share. This represents a $2.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 10th. Apple’s payout ratio is 31.70%.

Apple Company Profile

Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers to consumers, and small and mid-sized businesses; and education, enterprise, and government customers worldwide. The company also sells related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications.

Further Reading: Short Selling

Analyst Recommendations for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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