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

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning.

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 research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $180.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Drexel Hamilton reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $208.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Nomura set a $185.00 target price on shares of Apple and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Citigroup reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $170.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating, thirty-seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $200.33.

Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) traded down $1.26 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $177.20. 11,317,613 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 25,680,000. Apple has a 12-month low of $119.50 and a 12-month high of $180.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a current ratio of 1.28. The stock has a market cap of $910,520.00, a PE ratio of 19.28, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.23.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its earnings results 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 net margin of 21.09% and a return on equity of 36.29%. The firm had revenue of $52.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $50.71 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.50 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Apple will post 11.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Apple news, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $171.60, for a total transaction of $11,215,947.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP Johny Srouji sold 5,760 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.40, for a total transaction of $1,004,544.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 81,560 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,224,064. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 128,412 shares of company stock valued at $22,115,155. 0.06% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AAPL. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 0.6% in the second quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now owns 130,191,960 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $18,750,246,000 after buying an additional 834,854 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 15.0% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,241,383,000 after buying an additional 3,845,363 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 1.1% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 26,393,202 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,067,559,000 after buying an additional 287,027 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 9.3% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 21,854,159 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $3,367,571,000 after buying an additional 1,850,572 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Apple by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 19,262,302 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $3,259,868,000 after buying an additional 570,279 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.20% of the company’s stock.

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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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