Apple Sees Unusually High Options Volume (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Stock investors purchased 348,698 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 156% compared to the average volume of 135,955 call options.

In other Apple news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 11,949 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.86, for a total value of $1,707,034.14. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Craig Federighi sold 63,163 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.07, for a total transaction of $9,984,175.41. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 359,988 shares in the company, valued at approximately $56,903,303.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 299,911 shares of company stock worth $46,557,634 in the last three months. 0.08% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Blue Sky Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Apple during the second quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Hefty Wealth Partners boosted its position in shares of Apple by 27.6% in the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 804 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC boosted its position in shares of Apple by 852.4% in the second quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC now owns 800 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 716 shares during the last quarter. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Private Vista LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. Institutional investors own 61.13% of the company’s stock.

Apple (AAPL) opened at 157.48 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average of $149.92 and a 200-day moving average of $144.27. The stock has a market capitalization of $813.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.88 and a beta of 1.31. Apple has a one year low of $102.53 and a one year high of $161.83.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10. Apple had a return on equity of 35.40% and a net margin of 20.87%. The company had revenue of $45.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.94 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.42 EPS. Apple’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Apple will post $9.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Apple announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, May 2nd that allows the company to repurchase $50.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the iPhone maker to purchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Investors of record on Monday, August 14th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.60%. Apple’s payout ratio is 28.64%.

AAPL has been the topic of several analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price target on shares of Apple from $155.00 to $157.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Rosenblatt Securities restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $120.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) restated a “buy” rating and issued a $150.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Macquarie restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $156.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $180.00 price target on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, April 19th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $167.35.

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Apple Company Profile

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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