Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Apple (AAPL) to Hold
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.
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. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the new iPhone X at $999 is quite pricey, particularly for cost sensitive markets like India. Intensifying competition from cheaper Chinese handset-makers remains a concern.”
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on AAPL. Nomura set a $175.00 price objective on Apple and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Instinet downgraded Apple from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $175.00 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Loop Capital reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Friday, December 22nd. UBS Group set a $190.00 target price on Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, Vetr downgraded Apple from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $178.70 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, November 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, forty-one have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $198.70.
Apple (AAPL) traded down $1.09 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $173.24. The stock had a trading volume of 9,760,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 26,830,000. The firm has a market cap of $889,470.00, a PE ratio of 18.85, a P/E/G ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 1.23. Apple has a twelve month low of $118.21 and a twelve month high of $177.20. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $52.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $50.71 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 36.29% and a net margin of 21.09%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.50 EPS. research analysts forecast that Apple will post 11.18 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Eduardo H. Cue sold 65,361 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $171.60, for a total value of $11,215,947.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.35, for a total value of $2,695,726.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 39,682 shares in the company, valued at $6,839,192.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 128,412 shares of company stock worth $22,115,155. Corporate insiders own 0.06% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Apple by 301.3% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,003,587 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,880,992,000 after purchasing an additional 15,018,790 shares during the period. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in Apple by 14,030.2% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,515,315 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $31,352,000 after purchasing an additional 4,483,360 shares during the period. Truepoint Inc. raised its position in Apple by 15,559.4% in the third quarter. Truepoint Inc. now owns 4,436,774 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,437,000 after purchasing an additional 4,408,441 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in Apple by 15.0% in 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 purchasing an additional 3,845,363 shares during the period. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp raised its position in Apple by 9,166.4% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 3,883,754 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $598,497,000 after purchasing an additional 3,841,842 shares during the period. 60.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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