Apple (AAPL) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Apple (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 Thursday. The firm currently has a $197.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 10.39% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Apple shares have vastly outperformed the S&P 500, in the past one year. The company is benefiting from steady iPhone sales, spurt in Services segment and a resurgence in Mac and iPad sales. The company is anticipated to benefit from the strong demand of iPhone X in mature markets, which will help it to sustain momentum in the near term. Going ahead, we believe foray into fast-growing technologies like autonomous vehicle, artificial intelligence (AI) & AR/VR are long-term drivers. Moreover, Apple’s new investment plan will boost its subscription-based services business and put an end to the criticism it is facing for not creating enough jobs in the United States. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on AAPL. Rosenblatt Securities reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Vetr raised Apple from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $173.06 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $196.00 target price (up from $190.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Maxim Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $182.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Finally, Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, thirty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $200.59.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded down $0.80 on Thursday, hitting $178.46. The stock had a trading volume of 30,827,809 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,510,000. Apple has a one year low of $119.50 and a one year high of $180.10. The company has a market cap of $912,180.00, a PE ratio of 19.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $52.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $50.71 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 36.29% and a net margin of 21.09%. Apple’s revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.50 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Apple will post 11.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.60, for a total transaction of $11,215,947.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Johny Srouji sold 10,368 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.68, for a total transaction of $1,811,082.24. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 81,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,246,900.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock valued at $22,115,155 over the last three months. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Blue Sky Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the second quarter valued at about $108,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC increased its position in shares of Apple by 852.4% during the second quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC now owns 800 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 716 shares during the period. Private Vista LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Apple by 9.4% during the second quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. now owns 911 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 78 shares during the period. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the second quarter valued at about $149,000. 60.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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