Apple (AAPL) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have $197.00 target price on the iPhone maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Apple shares have vastly outperformed the S&P 500, in the past one year. The company 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. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on AAPL. Mizuho set a $160.00 target price on shares of Apple and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Vetr lowered shares of Apple from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $178.34 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, December 1st. UBS Group set a $190.00 target price on shares of Apple and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Needham & Company LLC upped their target price on shares of Apple from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Instinet lowered shares of Apple from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $175.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. One equities research 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 given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $200.59.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) traded down $0.80 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $178.46. 30,827,809 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 25,680,000. Apple has a 52-week low of $119.50 and a 52-week high of $180.10. 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 firm has a market cap of $916,270.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.42, a P/E/G ratio of 1.44 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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.87 by $0.20. Apple had a net margin of 21.09% and a return on equity of 36.29%. The firm had revenue of $52.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $50.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.50 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts predict that Apple will post 11.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Apple news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.78, for a total value of $2,733,733.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 13,739 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,401,302.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was 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 90 days, insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock valued at $22,115,155. 0.08% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AAPL. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 7.6% in the second quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 136,189 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $19,614,000 after acquiring an additional 9,663 shares in the last quarter. Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel CA boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 2.1% in the second quarter. Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel CA now owns 37,336 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,377,000 after acquiring an additional 779 shares in the last quarter. Empirical Financial Services LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 23.9% in the second quarter. Empirical Financial Services LLC now owns 21,558 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $3,105,000 after acquiring an additional 4,154 shares in the last quarter. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 14.4% in the second quarter. Carnick & Kubik Group LLC now owns 20,744 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,987,000 after acquiring an additional 2,612 shares in the last quarter. Finally, GenTrust LLC boosted its holdings in Apple by 1,022.9% during the second quarter. GenTrust LLC now owns 34,315 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,942,000 after buying an additional 31,259 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.19% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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