Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Trading Up 0.9% on Analyst Upgrade

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLGet Free Report)’s stock price was up 0.9% on Wednesday after Needham & Company LLC raised their price target on the stock from $220.00 to $260.00. Needham & Company LLC currently has a buy rating on the stock. Apple traded as high as $231.72 and last traded at $230.70. Approximately 16,571,838 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 74% from the average daily volume of 64,344,910 shares. The stock had previously closed at $228.68.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $230.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $225.00 to $245.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. Erste Group Bank raised shares of Apple from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 14th. Maxim Group raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $178.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 25th. Finally, Rosenblatt Securities raised shares of Apple from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $196.00 to $260.00 in a report on Wednesday, June 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $218.43.

View Our Latest Stock Report on AAPL

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other Apple news, insider Chris Kondo sold 4,999 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.40, for a total transaction of $951,809.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 29,278 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,574,531.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In other Apple news, insider Chris Kondo sold 4,999 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.40, for a total transaction of $951,809.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 29,278 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,574,531.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 75,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $191.58, for a total transaction of $14,368,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,359,576 shares in the company, valued at $835,207,570.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Investors Weigh In On Apple

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AAPL. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Apple in the 4th quarter worth about $33,912,466,000. International Assets Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 14,395.4% in the 4th quarter. International Assets Investment Management LLC now owns 70,700,395 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $136,119,470,000 after buying an additional 70,212,651 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Apple by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,318,064,349 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $253,766,929,000 after buying an additional 18,067,216 shares in the last quarter. Swedbank AB purchased a new stake in shares of Apple in the 1st quarter worth about $3,026,492,000. Finally, Global Assets Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 23,076.4% in the 1st quarter. Global Assets Advisory LLC now owns 9,240,214 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $1,584,512,000 after buying an additional 9,200,345 shares in the last quarter. 60.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Apple Stock Up 1.9 %

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $200.96 and its 200 day moving average is $186.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.57 trillion, a PE ratio of 36.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.77 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 0.99 and a current ratio of 1.04.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPLGet Free Report) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.51 by $0.02. Apple had a net margin of 26.31% and a return on equity of 148.33%. The firm had revenue of $90.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $90.37 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.52 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Apple Inc. will post 6.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Apple Increases Dividend

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 16th. Investors of record on Monday, May 13th were paid a $0.25 dividend. This is an increase from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 10th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.43%. Apple’s payout ratio is presently 15.55%.

Apple declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, May 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $110.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the iPhone maker to buy up to 3.9% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Apple Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables, and accessories worldwide. The company offers iPhone, a line of smartphones; Mac, a line of personal computers; iPad, a line of multi-purpose tablets; and wearables, home, and accessories comprising AirPods, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, and HomePod.

Further Reading

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