Apple Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) saw unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Investors bought 348,698 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 156% compared to the average daily volume of 135,955 call options.

In related news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $157.58, for a total value of $5,515,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,168,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $184,098,035.14. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 31,625 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.13, for a total value of $5,000,861.25. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 112,430 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,778,555.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 299,911 shares of company stock valued at $46,557,634 in the last ninety days. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Saratoga Research & Investment Management boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 0.6% in the first quarter. Saratoga Research & Investment Management now owns 667,132 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $95,840,000 after buying an additional 4,137 shares during the period. Pinnacle Bank bought a new stake in shares of Apple during the first quarter worth approximately $1,924,000. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Apple during the fourth quarter worth approximately $5,625,709,000. Perigon Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 5.9% in the fourth quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 147,469 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $20,613,000 after buying an additional 8,233 shares during the period. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Apple during the fourth quarter worth approximately $7,910,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.13% of the company’s stock.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened at 155.32 on Friday. Apple has a 12 month low of $102.53 and a 12 month high of $161.83. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $149.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $144.00. The stock has a market cap of $802.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.63 and a beta of 1.31.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.57 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $45.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $44.94 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 20.87%. Apple’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.42 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Apple will post $9.02 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.63 per share. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 10th. Apple’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.64%.

Apple announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, May 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback $50.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the iPhone maker to reacquire up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

AAPL has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Thursday. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $180.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Macquarie set a $160.00 price target on Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $165.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Twelve analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $167.35.

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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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