Apple (AAPL) Downgraded to Hold at ValuEngine

ValuEngine lowered shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Monday, ValuEngine reports.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $228.00 price target on Apple and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $140.00 price target on Apple and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 12th. Bank of America upgraded Apple from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $180.00 to $210.00 in a research report on Monday, March 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Apple from $220.00 to $234.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, UBS Group restated a buy rating and issued a $180.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Monday, January 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have given a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $211.43.

Shares of NASDAQ:AAPL opened at $190.08 on Monday. Apple has a 12-month low of $142.00 and a 12-month high of $233.47. The company has a market capitalization of $938.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.96, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.26.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $58.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $57.40 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 51.29% and a net margin of 22.12%. The business’s revenue was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.73 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Apple will post 11.48 EPS for the current year.

Apple declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, April 30th that allows the company to repurchase $75.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the iPhone maker to buy up to 7.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 13th were paid a $0.77 dividend. This represents a $3.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 10th. This is a positive change from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.73. Apple’s dividend payout ratio is 25.86%.

In related news, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 56,411 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $210.36, for a total transaction of $11,866,617.96. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 151,187 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,803,697.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Luca Maestri sold 51,138 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $196.61, for a total value of $10,054,242.18. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 27,448 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,396,551.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 142,549 shares of company stock worth $29,300,960. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 296,598,349 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $46,785,423,000 after acquiring an additional 805,069 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 11,234.1% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 160,579,635 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,018,000 after acquiring an additional 159,162,851 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in Apple by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 112,369,787 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $17,725,210,000 after buying an additional 1,473,983 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Apple by 4.5% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 61,063,812 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $11,580,103,000 after buying an additional 2,649,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in Apple by 1.3% during the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 59,311,465 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $9,355,791,000 after buying an additional 733,392 shares during the last quarter. 57.36% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Read More: What is a Buy-Side Analyst?

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