Traders Buy Shares of Apple (AAPL) on Weakness Following Analyst Downgrade

Traders bought shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on weakness during trading on Friday after Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded the stock from an outperform rating to a market perform rating. $3,066.23 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $2,763.74 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $302.49 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Apple had the 3rd highest net in-flow for the day. Apple traded down ($7.28) for the day and closed at $160.50

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on AAPL. Vetr lowered Apple from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $173.47 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, October 6th. UBS Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Drexel Hamilton reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $208.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Monday, October 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $199.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, thirty-six have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $202.53.

In other news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 15,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.78, for a total value of $2,733,733.98. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,739 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,401,302.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Johny Srouji sold 5,760 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $174.40, for a total value of $1,004,544.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 81,560 shares in the company, valued at $14,224,064. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 128,412 shares of company stock worth $22,115,155. Company insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Blue Sky Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple in the second quarter valued at about $108,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC lifted 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 acquiring an additional 716 shares in the last quarter. Private Vista LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple in the second quarter valued at about $122,000. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Apple by 9.4% in the second quarter. Armbruster Capital Management Inc. now owns 911 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 78 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Apple in the second quarter valued at about $149,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 60.26% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market cap of $788,300.00, a PE ratio of 16.51, a P/E/G ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The iPhone maker reported $3.89 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.82 by $0.07. Apple had a return on equity of 37.84% and a net margin of 21.13%. The business had revenue of $88.29 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $87.62 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $3.36 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Apple Inc. will post 11.14 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 12th will be given a $0.63 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 9th. This represents a $2.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.57%. Apple’s payout ratio is 25.93%.

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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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