Scharf Investments LLC trimmed its holdings in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL – Get Rating) by 4.3% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 19,495 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after selling 867 shares during the period. Apple accounts for about 0.1% of Scharf Investments LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest position. Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings in Apple were worth $2,533,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can acquired a new stake in shares of Apple during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,890,884,000. Barclays PLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 53.0% during the 3rd quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 30,235,823 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,178,590,000 after purchasing an additional 10,471,342 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,269,995,750 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $221,753,959,000 after purchasing an additional 8,734,393 shares during the last quarter. AustralianSuper Pty Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Apple during the 4th quarter worth about $1,075,599,000. Finally, Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 13.1% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 71,060,708 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $12,407,910,000 after purchasing an additional 8,230,300 shares during the last quarter. 57.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other Apple news, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 187,730 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.76, for a total transaction of $29,991,744.80. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 489,816 shares in the company, valued at approximately $78,253,004.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. In other news, SVP Deirdre O’brien sold 43,622 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $165.41, for a total value of $7,215,515.02. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 136,444 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,569,202.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 187,730 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.76, for a total value of $29,991,744.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 489,816 shares in the company, valued at approximately $78,253,004.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 439,529 shares of company stock worth $71,703,657. Company insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.
Apple Price Performance
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The iPhone maker reported $1.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.44 by $0.08. Apple had a net margin of 24.49% and a return on equity of 165.72%. The business had revenue of $94.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $92.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.52 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Apple Inc. will post 5.99 EPS for the current year.
Apple declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, May 4th that authorizes the company to buyback $90.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the iPhone maker to reacquire up to 3.4% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
Apple Increases Dividend
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 18th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th were issued a dividend of $0.24 per share. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 12th. This is an increase from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Apple’s payout ratio is presently 16.30%.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
Several research firms have issued reports on AAPL. Canaccord Genuity Group raised their price target on shares of Apple from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 5th. The Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Apple in a research report on Sunday, March 5th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $199.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Apple from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Monness Crespi & Hardt raised their target price on shares of Apple from $174.00 to $188.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Finally, Rosenblatt Securities raised their target price on shares of Apple from $173.00 to $198.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twenty-seven have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $174.74.
Apple, Inc engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables and accessories, and other varieties of related services. It operates through the following geographical segments: Americas, Europe, Greater China, Japan, and Rest of Asia Pacific. The Americas segment includes North and South America.
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