Apple (AAPL) Cut to “Hold” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine lowered shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on AAPL. UBS Group increased their price objective on Apple from $180.00 to $185.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Citigroup reissued a buy rating and issued a $170.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Canaccord Genuity reduced their price objective on Apple from $190.00 to $185.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Monness Crespi & Hardt increased their price objective on Apple from $200.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Finally, BTIG Research reduced their price objective on Apple from $197.00 to $189.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-three have given a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $211.43.

NASDAQ:AAPL opened at $190.92 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.26. Apple has a 1-year low of $142.00 and a 1-year high of $233.47. The firm has a market capitalization of $912.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.03, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.14.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by $0.09. Apple had a return on equity of 51.29% and a net margin of 22.12%. The business had revenue of $58.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $57.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $2.73 EPS. Apple’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that Apple will post 11.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Apple announced that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Tuesday, April 30th that permits the company to buyback $75.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the iPhone maker to repurchase up to 7.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, May 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.77 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 10th. This is an increase from Apple’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.73. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.61%. Apple’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.86%.

In related news, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 56,411 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $210.36, for a total value of $11,866,617.96. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 151,187 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,803,697.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Luca Maestri sold 51,138 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $196.61, for a total value of $10,054,242.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 27,448 shares in the company, valued at $5,396,551.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 142,549 shares of company stock valued at $29,300,960 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. grew its holdings in Apple by 505.0% in the 1st quarter. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. now owns 242 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $46,000 after buying an additional 202 shares during the last quarter. Semmax Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Apple in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $50,000. Portfolio Solutions LLC acquired a new stake in Apple in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $76,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in Apple by 30.6% in the 4th quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 614 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $97,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Truehand Inc acquired a new stake in Apple in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $108,000. 57.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Apple

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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To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

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