Short Interest in Apple Inc. (AAPL) Rises By 23.0%

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 48,108,995 shares, an increase of 23.0% from the August 15th total of 39,117,077 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 25,493,606 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.9 days. Currently, 0.9% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In related news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 11,949 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.86, for a total transaction of $1,707,034.14. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Johny Srouji sold 5,892 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.00, for a total value of $948,612.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 70,358 shares in the company, valued at $11,327,638. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 432,930 shares of company stock worth $69,008,577. 0.08% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AAPL. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Apple in the fourth quarter valued at about $5,625,709,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in Apple by 301.3% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,003,587 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,880,992,000 after acquiring an additional 15,018,790 shares during the period. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Apple by 14,030.2% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 4,515,315 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $31,352,000 after acquiring an additional 4,483,360 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Apple by 15.0% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 29,449,961 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,241,383,000 after acquiring an additional 3,845,363 shares during the period. Finally, Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership increased its stake in Apple by 200.3% in the second quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 4,765,574 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $686,338,000 after acquiring an additional 3,178,809 shares during the period. 60.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms recently commented on AAPL. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Saturday, May 20th. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $160.08 target price (down from $176.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $175.00 target price on Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $185.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Wednesday. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and forty-four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $187.54.

Shares of Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) opened at 159.65 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $824.63 billion, a PE ratio of 18.13 and a beta of 1.27. Apple has a 12-month low of $104.08 and a 12-month high of $164.94. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $158.37 and its 200-day moving average price is $149.12.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 17th. Investors of record on Monday, August 14th were paid a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 10th. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.58%. Apple’s payout ratio is currently 28.64%.

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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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