Apple Inc. (AAPL) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $132.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.29% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “Apple has been taking initiatives to strengthen its foothold in China. The company recently announced plans to set up another R&D facility in the country. Last month, Apple unveiled the much-awaited iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus and a newer version of Apple Watch. The company also provided updates on Apple Music, App Store and Apple Watch in addition to the software upgrades. Apple remains optimistic about growth in regions like India and a decent rebound in China. A loyal customer base and a strong ecosystem are the other positives. However, in the near term, macroeconomic headwinds in some key regions amid increasing competition remain a concern. Also, the company is embroiled in tax issues for its Ireland operations, which remains an overhang on its financials. Estimates have largely remained stable ahead of the company's fourth quarter fiscal 2016 earnings release.”
A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on AAPL. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $153.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $140.00 target price (up previously from $116.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Finally, OTR Global raised shares of Apple to a “positive” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, forty-four have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $127.05.
Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened at 117.55 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $633.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.71 and a beta of 1.22. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $111.86 and a 200 day moving average of $103.64. Apple has a 1-year low of $89.47 and a 1-year high of $123.82.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The iPhone maker reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.38 by $0.04. Apple had a net margin of 21.70% and a return on equity of 37.89%. The firm had revenue of $42.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $42.35 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.85 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Apple will post $8.26 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, insider Johny Srouji sold 9,827 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.44, for a total value of $1,065,639.88. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 116,369 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,619,054.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Timothy D. Cook sold 334,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.23, for a total value of $35,814,820.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.08% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Penserra Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Apple by 39.2% in the second quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,080 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 304 shares during the last quarter. Weaver C. Barksdale & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in Apple during the third quarter valued at $122,000. Delphi Private Advisors LLC increased its stake in Apple by 5.0% in the second quarter. Delphi Private Advisors LLC now owns 1,462 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the last quarter. Hussman Strategic Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in Apple during the second quarter valued at $143,000. Finally, River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP increased its stake in Apple by 22.8% in the second quarter. River & Mercantile Asset Management LLP now owns 1,800 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $172,000 after buying an additional 334 shares during the last quarter. 56.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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