Apple’s (AAPL) “Buy” Rating Reiterated at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley restated their buy rating on shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $226.00 price target on the iPhone maker’s stock.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on AAPL. Loop Capital upped their target price on shares of Apple from $195.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 6th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $210.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a report on Monday, July 9th. Bank of America reissued a buy rating and set a $230.00 price objective (up previously from $225.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Apple from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $213.00 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Apple and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, July 16th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and twenty-nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Apple currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $223.92.

Shares of Apple stock opened at $207.48 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,019.79 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.42, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a quick ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 1.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. Apple has a fifty-two week low of $150.24 and a fifty-two week high of $233.47.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The iPhone maker reported $2.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.78 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $62.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $61.55 billion. Apple had a net margin of 22.41% and a return on equity of 48.68%. Apple’s quarterly revenue was up 19.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.07 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Apple will post 13.48 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Investors of record on Monday, November 12th will be issued a $0.73 dividend. This represents a $2.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.41%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 8th. Apple’s payout ratio is 24.52%.

In related news, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 15,652 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $206.86, for a total value of $3,237,772.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 122,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $25,410,061.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Angela J. Ahrendts sold 14,194 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $227.96, for a total transaction of $3,235,664.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 105,538 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,058,442.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 544,185 shares of company stock valued at $120,312,613. 0.06% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Greenleaf Trust increased its position in shares of Apple by 0.3% during the first quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 128,927 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $21,631,000 after acquiring an additional 445 shares during the period. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC increased its position in shares of Apple by 30.3% during the first quarter. Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo LLC now owns 3,700 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $621,000 after acquiring an additional 860 shares during the period. Viridian Ria LLC purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the first quarter worth approximately $525,000. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Apple by 4.1% during the first quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 100,333 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $16,834,000 after acquiring an additional 3,918 shares during the period. Finally, BigSur Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Apple by 17.5% during the first quarter. BigSur Wealth Management LLC now owns 14,415 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $2,419,000 after acquiring an additional 2,150 shares during the period. 58.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Apple

Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers to consumers, and small and mid-sized businesses; and education, enterprise, and government customers worldwide. The company also sells related software, services, accessories, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications.

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