Apple (AAPL) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Apple is benefiting from steady iPhone sales, spurt in Services segment and a resurgence in Mac and iPad sales. The company is anticipated to benefit from the strong demand of iPhone X in mature markets, which will help it to sustain momentum in the near term. Going ahead, we believe foray into fast-growing technologies like autonomous vehicle, artificial intelligence (AI) & AR/VR are long-term drivers. Moreover, Apple’s new investment plan will boost its subscription-based services business and put an end to the criticism it is facing for not creating enough jobs in the United States. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America cut Apple from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $180.00 to $220.00 in a research report on Wednesday. Barclays set a $174.00 price objective on Apple and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday. Mizuho reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $175.00 price objective (up from $160.00) on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday. Rosenblatt Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday. Finally, Nomura set a $185.00 price objective on Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, thirty-eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Apple presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $200.59.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded down $0.80 during trading on Friday, hitting $178.46. The company had a trading volume of 32,407,086 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,510,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 1.23. The stock has a market cap of $916,270.00, a P/E ratio of 19.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.23. Apple has a 52 week low of $119.37 and a 52 week high of $180.10.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.07 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $52.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $50.71 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 36.29% and a net margin of 21.09%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. research analysts predict that Apple will post 11.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Johny Srouji sold 10,368 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.68, for a total value of $1,811,082.24. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 81,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,246,900.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $169.69, for a total value of $2,654,121.29. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,341 shares in the company, valued at $2,942,594.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock worth $22,115,155. 0.08% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AAPL. Stone House Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of Apple by 0.4% during the second quarter. Stone House Investment Management LLC now owns 1,570 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $226,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. grew its position in shares of Apple by 0.3% during the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 5,431 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $782,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Apple by 0.4% during the second quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 4,971 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $716,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp grew its position in shares of Apple by 1.6% during the second quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp now owns 1,427 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $206,000 after purchasing an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Welch Investments LLC grew its position in shares of Apple by 1.5% during the second quarter. Welch Investments LLC now owns 1,607 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $231,000 after purchasing an additional 23 shares in the last quarter. 60.19% of the stock is currently owned by 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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