Howard Capital Management cut its stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 1.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 167,924 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after selling 2,225 shares during the period. Apple makes up about 4.0% of Howard Capital Management’s portfolio, making the stock its 3rd largest position. Howard Capital Management’s holdings in Apple were worth $24,124,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Glacier Peak Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Apple during the fourth quarter valued at $127,000. Welch Investments LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Apple during the fourth quarter valued at $146,000. Odey Holdings AG boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 27.3% in the fourth quarter. Odey Holdings AG now owns 1,273 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 273 shares during the last quarter. Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Apple during the first quarter valued at $169,000. Finally, Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Apple during the first quarter valued at $201,000. 61.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded up 0.53% during trading on Friday, hitting $156.39. The company had a trading volume of 20,480,949 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $147.04 and its 200 day moving average is $142.60. Apple Inc. has a 52-week low of $102.53 and a 52-week high of $157.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $808.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.76 and a beta of 1.31.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $45.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.94 billion. Apple had a net margin of 20.87% and a return on equity of 35.40%. The firm’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.42 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Apple Inc. will post $9.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Apple announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, May 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback $50.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the iPhone maker to repurchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Investors of record on Monday, August 14th will be given a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.61%. Apple’s payout ratio is currently 28.64%.

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Several research firms have commented on AAPL. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $151.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Monday, April 24th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $176.00 price target (up from $165.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday. KeyCorp reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating on shares of Apple in a report on Friday. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $176.00 price target (up from $168.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday. Finally, FBN Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Thursday. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Apple currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $167.57.

In related news, insider Luca Maestri sold 4,757 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $154.70, for a total value of $735,907.90. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 3,414 shares in the company, valued at $528,145.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 11,949 shares of Apple stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.32, for a total transaction of $1,855,918.68. Following the sale, the insider now owns 13,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,026,770.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 305,500 shares of company stock valued at $46,455,746. 0.08% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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