Benson Investment Management Company Inc. cut its holdings in shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 1.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 25,491 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after selling 354 shares during the period. Apple accounts for approximately 3.6% of Benson Investment Management Company Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 3rd biggest holding. Benson Investment Management Company Inc.’s holdings in Apple were worth $4,845,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of AAPL. Lourd Capital LLC boosted its holdings in Apple by 3.5% in the second quarter. Lourd Capital LLC now owns 29,577 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,854,000 after purchasing an additional 1,011 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Capital LLC grew its stake in shares of Apple by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. Chicago Capital LLC now owns 162,710 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $32,204,000 after buying an additional 2,810 shares during the period. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp grew its stake in shares of Apple by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 66,630 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $13,187,000 after buying an additional 761 shares during the period. Pacific Wealth Strategies Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Apple by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Pacific Wealth Strategies Group Inc. now owns 36,158 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $7,156,000 after purchasing an additional 274 shares during the period. Finally, PFS Investments Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Apple during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $609,000. 59.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities analysts have commented on AAPL shares. Daiwa Capital Markets set a $223.00 price target on shares of Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Bank of America raised their price target on shares of Apple from $230.00 to $240.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. UBS Group raised their price target on shares of Apple from $225.00 to $235.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $230.00 to $243.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $205.00 to $210.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 31st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned 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 price target of $216.11.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.10 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $53.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $53.39 billion. Apple had a net margin of 21.50% and a return on equity of 52.13%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.34 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Apple Inc. will post 11.58 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 15th. Investors of record on Monday, August 12th were issued a $0.77 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 9th. This represents a $3.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.53%. Apple’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 25.86%.
Apple declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, April 30th that allows the company to buyback $75.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the iPhone maker to buy up to 7.6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 17,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $214.02, for a total value of $3,745,350.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,150,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $246,290,577.66. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Chris Kondo sold 4,376 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $217.47, for a total transaction of $951,648.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 39,376 shares of company stock worth $8,226,574. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
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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