Argus Reaffirms Outperform Rating for Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating restated by equities research analysts at Argus in a note issued to investors on Friday, May 5th. They presently have a $160.00 price target on the iPhone maker’s stock. Argus’ price target points to a potential upside of 4.89% from the company’s current price.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on AAPL. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “” rating on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. UBS Group AG boosted their price target on Apple from $165.00 to $200.00 in a research report on Sunday, April 2nd. Brean Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Apple in a report on Friday, January 6th. Longbow Research set a $140.00 price target on Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 5th. Finally, Instinet upgraded shares of Apple to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 5th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Apple currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $156.06.

Analyst Recommendations for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded up 0.6789% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $153.5756. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,610,382 shares. Apple has a 1-year low of $91.50 and a 1-year high of $156.65. The company has a market capitalization of $800.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.0168 and a beta of 1.26. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $146.38 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.20.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.10 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.08. Apple had a return on equity of 34.94% and a net margin of 20.73%. The firm had revenue of $52.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $52.61 billion. On average, analysts predict that Apple will post $8.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 15th were paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 11th. This is a boost from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.65%. Apple’s dividend payout ratio is 27.31%.

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In related news, insider Luca Maestri sold 6,308 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.83, for a total transaction of $894,663.64. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,665 shares in the company, valued at $377,976.95. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Philip W. Schiller sold 47,796 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $143.32, for a total transaction of $6,850,122.72. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 94,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,473,513.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 314,393 shares of company stock valued at $46,506,842. Corporate insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Apple during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $5,625,709,000. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its position in Apple by 966.6% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 9,457,769 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,096,072,000 after buying an additional 8,571,027 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Apple by 1.8% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 343,783,273 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $49,387,905,000 after buying an additional 6,237,609 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in Apple by 3.7% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 163,812,996 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $23,533,376,000 after buying an additional 5,830,423 shares during the period. Finally, Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in Apple by 14.1% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 40,313,026 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,791,369,000 after buying an additional 4,991,639 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.76% of the company’s stock.

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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