Apple Inc. (AAPL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $175.00 price target on the iPhone maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.25% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Apple’s enriched product portfolio that now includes the new iPhones, Watch 3 and 4K TV will help the stock sustain momentum against S&P 500 going forward. This, along with the company's $1-billion investment for acquiring original content and its plan to break into film distribution market will further boost services’ revenues. Apple recently collaborated with Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV and NBCUniversal to revive Amazing Stories. Additionally, foray into fast-growing technologies like AI & AR/VR are long-term growth catalysts. However, the new iPhone X at $999 is quite pricey, particularly for markets like China and India. Moreover, slight delay in launching the product as compared with iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, reflects supply chain issues. This can be a concern during the upcoming holiday season. Moreover, intensifying competition from cheaper Chinese handset-makers cannot be ignored.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. UBS AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. BMO Capital Markets restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $170.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $180.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley set a $199.00 price target on Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Nomura restated a “buy” rating and issued a $165.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and forty-five have given a buy rating to the company. Apple presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $189.40.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) opened at 155.90 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $805.26 billion, a PE ratio of 17.70 and a beta of 1.27. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $157.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $151.39. Apple has a 52-week low of $104.08 and a 52-week high of $164.94.

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, analysts predict that Apple will post $9.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.58, for a total value of $5,515,300.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,168,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $184,098,035.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 31,625 shares of the company’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 completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 112,430 shares in the company, valued at $17,778,555.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 541,177 shares of company stock worth $85,864,804 over the last ninety days. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in Apple by 301.3% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,003,587 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,880,992,000 after acquiring an additional 15,018,790 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Apple by 14,030.2% during the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,515,315 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $31,352,000 after buying an additional 4,483,360 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Apple by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,241,383,000 after buying an additional 3,845,363 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its holdings in shares of Apple by 200.3% during the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 4,765,574 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $686,338,000 after buying an additional 3,178,809 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Apple by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 10,582,632 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,524,110,000 after buying an additional 2,138,928 shares during the period. 60.36% 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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