Apple Inc. (AAPL) Earns “Buy” Rating from Bank of America Corp

Bank of America Corp reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a research note published on Friday. The firm currently has a $180.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $155.00.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $170.00 target price (up from $164.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, May 12th. Vetr downgraded shares of Apple from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $156.64 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Drexel Hamilton reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $202.00 target price (up from $185.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Argus reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $160.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, May 5th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $170.00 target price (up from $147.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, May 5th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Apple has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $156.06.

Analyst Recommendations for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened at 150.25 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average is $146.14 and its 200-day moving average is $129.03. The firm has a market capitalization of $783.38 billion, a PE ratio of 17.63 and a beta of 1.26. Apple has a 52-week low of $91.50 and a 52-week high of $156.65.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.02 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $52.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $52.61 billion. Apple had a net margin of 20.73% and a return on equity of 34.94%. Analysts forecast that Apple will post $8.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. This is a positive change from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 11th. Apple’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 27.31%.

In other Apple news, insider Johny Srouji sold 13,207 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $136.37, for a total value of $1,801,038.59. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 98,012 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,365,896.44. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Luca Maestri sold 6,308 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.83, for a total value of $894,663.64. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,665 shares in the company, valued at $377,976.95. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 302,444 shares of company stock worth $44,651,521. 0.08% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BSW Wealth Partners raised its stake in shares of Apple by 1.3% in the first quarter. BSW Wealth Partners now owns 10,097 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,450,000 after buying an additional 134 shares during the last quarter. Brighton Jones LLC raised its stake in shares of Apple by 150.8% in the first quarter. Brighton Jones LLC now owns 60,438 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $8,683,000 after buying an additional 36,337 shares during the last quarter. Aristotle Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Apple during the first quarter valued at approximately $575,000. Meridian Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Apple by 26.3% in the first quarter. Meridian Wealth Management LLC now owns 16,168 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,323,000 after buying an additional 3,363 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hutchens Investment Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Apple by 1.5% in the first quarter. Hutchens Investment Management Inc now owns 17,534 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,518,000 after buying an additional 265 shares during the last quarter. 58.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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