Apple Inc. (AAPL) Given Buy Rating at Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a report issued on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has a $196.00 price target on the iPhone maker’s stock.

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on AAPL. Barclays PLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $146.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, September 4th. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and issued a $172.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price objective on Apple from $176.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an outperform rating and issued a $175.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Instinet reissued a buy rating and issued a $185.00 price objective (up from $175.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and forty-five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $189.40.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded up 0.05% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $156.63. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 10,383,626 shares. Apple has a 1-year low of $104.08 and a 1-year high of $164.94. The company has a market cap of $809.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.78 and a beta of 1.27. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $157.82 and a 200 day moving average price of $151.43.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.57 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $45.41 billion for 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 revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.42 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Apple will post $9.01 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 approximately $184,098,035.14. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Angela J. Ahrendts sold 63,388 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $154.21, for a total transaction of $9,775,063.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 541,177 shares of company stock worth $85,864,804 over the last quarter. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AAPL. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake 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 worth $2,880,992,000 after acquiring an additional 15,018,790 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC grew its stake in Apple by 14,030.2% in the 2nd quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,515,315 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $31,352,000 after acquiring an additional 4,483,360 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its stake in Apple by 15.0% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,241,383,000 after acquiring an additional 3,845,363 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership grew its stake in Apple by 200.3% in the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 4,765,574 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $686,338,000 after acquiring an additional 3,178,809 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in Apple by 25.3% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 10,582,632 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $1,524,110,000 after acquiring an additional 2,138,928 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.36% of the company’s stock.

About Apple

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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