Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the fifty-three research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Ten investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, forty have assigned a buy recommendation and two have issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $162.04.

AAPL has been the subject of several recent research reports. Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $170.00 price objective (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, June 12th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $123.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $170.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Apple from $135.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Apple from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 15th.

Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) opened at 146.28 on Monday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $151.25 and a 200-day moving average of $136.05. The firm has a market cap of $762.68 billion, a PE ratio of 17.16 and a beta of 1.28. Apple has a one year low of $91.50 and a one year high of $156.65.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $52.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $52.61 billion. Apple had a net margin of 20.74% and a return on equity of 35.09%. On average, equities research analysts predict that Apple will post $8.94 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 67,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $148.76, for a total transaction of $10,041,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 141,325 shares in the company, valued at $21,023,507. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Philip W. Schiller sold 47,796 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $143.32, for a total value of $6,850,122.72. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 94,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,473,513.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 447,411 shares of company stock valued at $67,200,745. 0.08% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Waldron LP boosted its position in shares of Apple by 37.9% in the first quarter. Waldron LP now owns 46,930 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $6,722,000 after buying an additional 12,898 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 51.1% in the first quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC now owns 9,375 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,347,000 after buying an additional 3,170 shares during the period. Blankinship & Foster LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 2.7% in the first quarter. Blankinship & Foster LLC now owns 6,433 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $924,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 1.2% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 6,815,812 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $979,160,000 after buying an additional 82,453 shares during the period. Finally, TrueNorth Inc. boosted its position in shares of Apple by 6.3% in the first quarter. TrueNorth Inc. now owns 14,109 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,027,000 after buying an additional 836 shares during the period. 61.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Apple Company 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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