Apple (AAPL) Raised to Buy at Bank of America

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Bank of America upgraded shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday, MarketBeat reports. Bank of America currently has $210.00 price target on the iPhone maker’s stock, up from their prior price target of $180.00. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Apple from $180.00 to $185.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Robert W. Baird reissued a buy rating and set a $230.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, November 19th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $240.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, November 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $266.00 price target on shares of Apple and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, November 12th. Finally, Loop Capital dropped their price target on shares of Apple to $225.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, November 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have given a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $192.47.

AAPL opened at $181.71 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79, a quick ratio of 1.25 and a current ratio of 1.30. Apple has a fifty-two week low of $142.00 and a fifty-two week high of $233.47. The stock has a market cap of $849.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.26, a PEG ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 1.13.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, January 29th. The iPhone maker reported $4.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $4.17 by $0.01. Apple had a net margin of 22.72% and a return on equity of 50.92%. The company had revenue of $84.31 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $84.07 billion. Equities research analysts predict that Apple will post 11.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, February 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 11th were paid a $0.73 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 8th. This represents a $2.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.61%. Apple’s payout ratio is 24.52%.

In other news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 1,521 shares of Apple stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.71, for a total value of $255,086.91. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,134,804 shares in the company, valued at $190,317,978.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AAPL. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Apple by 11,234.1% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 160,579,635 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $1,018,000 after purchasing an additional 159,162,851 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new position in shares of Apple in the fourth quarter worth about $7,500,354,000. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Apple by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 58,414,412 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $9,198,612,000 after purchasing an additional 3,534,127 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Apple by 9.7% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 39,188,032 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $8,846,307,000 after purchasing an additional 3,452,792 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Apple by 18.8% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,833,222 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,703,027,000 after purchasing an additional 3,293,674 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.59% of the company’s stock.

About Apple

Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers. It also sells various related software, services, accessories, and third-party digital content and applications. The company offers iPhone, a line of smartphones; iPad, a line of multi-purpose tablets; and Mac, a line of desktop and portable personal computers, as well as iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems.

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