Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Sell

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $248.00 price objective on the iPhone maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Apple’s shares have outperformed the S&P 500 on a year-to-date basis. The company’s focus on strengthening the Services business and a strong slate of upcoming app releases, including its streaming service Apple TV+, are key catalysts. The company is also expected to benefit from the launch of latest iPhones, refreshed Macbook, iPad and Apple Watch product lines. Apple Arcade is likely to boost the company’s footprint in the video game space. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the ongoing U.S.-China trade war does not bode well for the company. Legal woes have increased due to a lawsuit from customers related to App Store charges. The company has also been accused of unfair practices by Spotify.”

AAPL has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Cowen set a $250.00 price objective on Apple and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 21st. Cascend Securities boosted their price objective on Apple from $260.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, September 20th. Barclays boosted their price objective on Apple from $192.00 to $207.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 11th. UBS Group set a $235.00 target price on Apple and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on Apple from $205.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $223.19.

AAPL stock traded up $1.13 during trading on Monday, reaching $237.00. 3,194,332 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 28,833,076. The company has a quick ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 1.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. Apple has a 1-year low of $142.00 and a 1-year high of $238.13. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $218.56 and its 200-day moving average price is $203.36. The firm has a market cap of $1,065.94 billion, a PE ratio of 19.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.24.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.10 by $0.08. Apple had a return on equity of 52.13% and a net margin of 21.50%. The company had revenue of $53.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $53.39 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.34 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Apple will post 11.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Timothy D. Cook sold 265,160 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $206.17, for a total value of $54,668,037.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 17,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $201.69, for a total transaction of $3,529,575.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,150,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $232,101,423.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 433,749 shares of company stock valued at $91,773,322. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AAPL. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 46,879,136 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $9,278,319,000 after purchasing an additional 1,203,705 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its holdings in Apple by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 36,261,306 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $7,176,836,000 after purchasing an additional 1,996,126 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Apple by 2,874.9% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 35,914,893 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $7,108,275,000 after purchasing an additional 34,707,634 shares during the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Apple by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 20,240,790 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $4,006,058,000 after purchasing an additional 161,912 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 13,752,244 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,721,844,000 after acquiring an additional 214,362 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.65% of the company’s stock.

Apple Company Profile

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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