MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd Sells 76,171 Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd lowered its position in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 7.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 985,488 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after selling 76,171 shares during the quarter. Apple comprises about 1.4% of MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd’s holdings, making the stock its 21st biggest holding. MERIAN GLOBAL INVESTORS UK Ltd’s holdings in Apple were worth $155,450,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in AAPL. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Apple by 9.7% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 39,188,032 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $8,846,307,000 after buying an additional 3,452,792 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 1.8% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 26,144,522 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $5,901,864,000 after purchasing an additional 454,086 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 18.8% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,833,222 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,703,027,000 after purchasing an additional 3,293,674 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 12,766,487 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,013,786,000 after purchasing an additional 417,421 shares during the period. Finally, Sanders Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Apple by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Sanders Capital LLC now owns 7,620,004 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,321,786,000 after purchasing an additional 108,823 shares during the period. 58.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 35,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $210.86, for a total transaction of $7,380,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,168,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $246,344,153.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Jeffrey E. Williams sold 56,411 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 $31,803,697.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 142,549 shares of company stock valued at $29,300,960. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

AAPL has been the topic of several analyst reports. Piper Jaffray Companies raised their target price on shares of Apple from $201.00 to $230.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Apple and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $234.00 to $240.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Jefferies Financial Group raised their price objective on shares of Apple from $160.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, Loop Capital lifted their target price on shares of Apple to $190.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have issued a hold rating, twenty-three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $209.12.

Shares of NASDAQ:AAPL traded down $1.82 during trading on Friday, reaching $197.92. 20,197,335 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 29,938,475. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a current ratio of 1.32. Apple Inc. has a 12-month low of $142.00 and a 12-month high of $233.47. The firm has a market capitalization of $919.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $189.10.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 analysts’ expectations of $57.40 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $2.73 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Apple Inc. will post 11.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Apple announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, April 30th that authorizes the company to buyback $75.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the iPhone maker to buy up to 7.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

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