Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was upgraded by stock analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $151.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, April 24th. FBN Securities increased their price objective on shares of Apple from $155.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $167.38.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded down 0.23% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $157.50. 27,428,069 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Apple has a 1-year low of $102.53 and a 1-year high of $162.51. The firm has a market cap of $813.52 billion, a PE ratio of 17.88 and a beta of 1.31. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $151.99 and a 200 day moving average of $145.63.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10. Apple had a net margin of 20.87% and a return on equity of 35.40%. The business had revenue of $45.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.94 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.42 earnings per share. Apple’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Apple will post $9.02 EPS for the current year.

Apple announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, May 2nd that allows the company to buyback $50.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the iPhone maker to reacquire up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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In related news, SVP Johny Srouji sold 10,469 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.20, for a total transaction of $1,698,071.80. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 76,250 shares in the company, valued at $12,367,750. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.58, for a total value of $5,515,300.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,168,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $184,098,035.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 304,640 shares of company stock valued at $47,405,994 in the last quarter. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Saratoga Research & Investment Management boosted its stake in Apple by 0.6% in the first quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management now owns 667,132 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $95,840,000 after buying an additional 4,137 shares in the last quarter. Pinnacle Bank acquired a new stake in Apple during the first quarter valued at about $1,924,000. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its stake in Apple by 6.7% in the first quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 87,456 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $12,564,000 after buying an additional 5,491 shares in the last quarter. Headinvest LLC boosted its stake in Apple by 2.5% in the second quarter. Headinvest LLC now owns 16,295 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,347,000 after buying an additional 390 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Apple during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,625,709,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.50% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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