Bank of America Downgrades Apple (AAPL) to Neutral
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $220.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $180.00. Bank of America’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 22.88% from the company’s previous close.
Several other research analysts have also commented on the company. Longbow Research lowered Apple from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday. Maxim Group boosted their price objective on Apple from $193.00 to $204.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Apple from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, January 8th. UBS Group set a $190.00 price objective on Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Barclays set a $162.00 price objective on Apple and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, thirty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $199.83.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) traded up $2.84 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $179.03. The stock had a trading volume of 21,730,198 shares, compared to its average volume of 24,092,650. Apple has a 52 week low of $118.22 and a 52 week high of $179.39. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $917,940.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.23.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.20. Apple had a return on equity of 36.29% and a net margin of 21.09%. The company had revenue of $52.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $50.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.50 earnings per share. Apple’s revenue was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Apple will post 11.18 EPS for the current year.
In related news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.35, for a total transaction of $2,695,726.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 39,682 shares in the company, valued at $6,839,192.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.60, for a total value of $11,215,947.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 128,412 shares of company stock valued at $22,115,155. Insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lowe FS increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 0.6% during the third quarter. Lowe FS now owns 2,371 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $261,000 after acquiring an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Stanley Capital Management increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 2.9% during the third quarter. Stanley Capital Management now owns 52,806 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,825,000 after acquiring an additional 1,500 shares in the last quarter. Kovitz Investment Group increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 14.2% during the third quarter. Kovitz Investment Group now owns 736,870 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $81,262,000 after acquiring an additional 91,557 shares in the last quarter. Ken Stern & Associates increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 9.3% during the third quarter. Ken Stern & Associates now owns 9,621 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,061,000 after acquiring an additional 819 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baker Avenue Asset Management increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 34.5% during the third quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management now owns 53,239 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,872,000 after acquiring an additional 13,662 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 60.19% of the company’s stock.
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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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