Bank of America Lowers Apple (AAPL) to Neutral

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was downgraded by research analysts at Bank of America from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $220.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $180.00. Bank of America’s price objective points to a potential upside of 23.28% from the stock’s current price.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on AAPL. Nomura set a $175.00 target price on shares of Apple and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Instinet downgraded shares of Apple from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $175.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Longbow Research downgraded shares of Apple from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Maxim Group lifted their target price on shares of Apple from $193.00 to $204.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 12th. Finally, Loop Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, thirty-eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $200.59.

Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) traded down $0.80 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $178.46. 31,306,224 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 25,510,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 1.23. Apple has a 52-week low of $119.50 and a 52-week high of $180.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $912,180.00, a P/E ratio of 19.42, a PEG ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.23.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The iPhone maker reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.87 by $0.20. Apple had a net margin of 21.09% and a return on equity of 36.29%. The company had revenue of $52.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $50.71 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.50 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Apple will post 11.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Apple 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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Johny Srouji sold 10,368 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, November 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.68, for a total value of $1,811,082.24. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 81,560 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,246,900.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 128,412 shares of company stock worth $22,115,155 in the last 90 days. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. grew its position in shares of Apple by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now owns 130,191,960 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $18,750,246,000 after buying an additional 834,854 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors grew its position in shares of Apple by 15.0% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,241,383,000 after buying an additional 3,845,363 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in shares of Apple by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 26,393,202 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,067,559,000 after buying an additional 287,027 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Apple by 9.3% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 21,854,159 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $3,367,571,000 after buying an additional 1,850,572 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Apple by 3.1% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 19,262,302 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $3,259,868,000 after buying an additional 570,279 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.19% of the company’s stock.

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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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