Covington Investment Advisors Inc. Lowers Stake in Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Covington Investment Advisors Inc. reduced its position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 32,956 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after selling 714 shares during the period. Apple accounts for 1.9% of Covington Investment Advisors Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 15th biggest holding. Covington Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Apple were worth $5,079,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. Halbert Hargrove Russell LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 65.0% in the 3rd quarter. Halbert Hargrove Russell LLC now owns 15,740 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $2,426,000 after purchasing an additional 6,201 shares during the last quarter. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 17.9% in the 3rd quarter. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC now owns 172,693 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $26,615,000 after purchasing an additional 26,176 shares during the last quarter. Progressive Investment Management Corp boosted its position in shares of Apple by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. Progressive Investment Management Corp now owns 49,278 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $7,595,000 after purchasing an additional 427 shares during the last quarter. Smith Moore & CO. boosted its position in shares of Apple by 21.5% in the 3rd quarter. Smith Moore & CO. now owns 37,892 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $5,840,000 after purchasing an additional 6,715 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sterling Global Strategies LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 96.5% in the 3rd quarter. Sterling Global Strategies LLC now owns 4,975 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $766,000 after purchasing an additional 2,443 shares during the last quarter. 60.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) opened at $159.54 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $827,216.38, a PE ratio of 16.40, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.31. Apple Inc. has a twelve month low of $131.12 and a twelve month high of $180.10. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.24 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The iPhone maker reported $3.89 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.82 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $88.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $87.62 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 37.37% and a net margin of 21.13%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $3.36 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Apple Inc. will post 11.4 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 9th. Apple’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.90%.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on AAPL. Rosenblatt Securities restated a “hold” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research report on Sunday, October 15th. Citigroup restated a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 price target (up from $170.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group set a $190.00 price target on Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, December 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Apple from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $197.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Finally, Pacific Crest upgraded Apple from a “sector weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $187.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have issued a hold rating, thirty-three have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $201.72.

In related news, SVP Johny Srouji sold 5,760 shares of Apple stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.40, for a total value of $1,004,544.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 81,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,224,064. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of Apple stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.78, for a total value of $2,733,733.98. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 13,739 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,401,302.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock worth $22,115,155. 0.08% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

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Apple 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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