Apple (AAPL) Cut to “Hold” at ValuEngine

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was downgraded by investment analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on Apple in a research note on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $161.00 target price for the company. William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. KeyCorp restated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Sunday, February 4th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Apple from $200.00 to $203.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Morningstar set a $170.00 price target on Apple and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have given a hold rating, thirty-three have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Apple has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $201.72.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded up $1.88 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $156.41. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 66,723,743 shares, compared to its average volume of 38,450,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.20 and a current ratio of 1.24. Apple has a 12 month low of $132.05 and a 12 month high of $180.10. The firm has a market capitalization of $793,630.00, a P/E ratio of 16.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.33.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The iPhone maker reported $3.89 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.82 by $0.07. Apple had a return on equity of 37.37% and a net margin of 21.13%. The company had revenue of $88.29 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $87.62 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $3.36 earnings per share. Apple’s quarterly revenue was up 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Apple will post 11.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of Apple stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.35, for a total value of $2,695,726.35. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 39,682 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,839,192.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of Apple stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.60, for a total transaction of $11,215,947.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock valued at $22,115,155. 0.08% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Apple by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 319,715,585 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $54,105,468,000 after buying an additional 3,048,055 shares during the last quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. raised its position in shares of Apple by 0.6% during the second quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now owns 130,191,960 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $18,750,246,000 after buying an additional 834,854 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Apple by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 53,301,694 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $9,020,245,000 after buying an additional 360,312 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in shares of Apple by 15.0% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,241,383,000 after buying an additional 3,845,363 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in shares of Apple by 1.1% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 26,393,202 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,067,559,000 after buying an additional 287,027 shares during the last quarter. 60.23% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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