Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Short Interest Up 19.5% in February

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the target of a large growth in short interest in February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 58,730,906 shares, a growth of 19.5% from the February 15th total of 49,152,571 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 36,411,740 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.6 days.

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 transaction of $2,733,733.98. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 13,739 shares in the company, valued at $2,401,302.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.06% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Stone House Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Apple by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Stone House Investment Management LLC now owns 1,570 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 6 shares in the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its stake in Apple by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 5,431 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $782,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp increased its stake in Apple by 1.6% during the 2nd quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp now owns 1,427 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $206,000 after buying an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Apple by 0.6% during the second quarter. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC now owns 4,369 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $629,000 after acquiring an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cutler Investment Counsel LLC raised its holdings in shares of Apple by 1.0% during the second quarter. Cutler Investment Counsel LLC now owns 3,968 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $571,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. 61.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS set a $190.00 target price on Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $205.00 price target (up from $200.00) on shares of Apple in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Sanford C. Bernstein cut Apple from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $195.00 to $170.00 in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. HSBC set a $204.00 price objective on Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Apple from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $184.49 target price for the company in a report on Monday, March 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, thirty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $202.52.

AAPL stock traded down $1.10 during trading on Monday, hitting $166.68. 37,440,784 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 37,618,270. The company has a current ratio of 1.24, a quick ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74. Apple has a 1 year low of $140.06 and a 1 year high of $183.50. The stock has a market cap of $851,317.94, a P/E ratio of 18.10, a P/E/G ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.25.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The iPhone maker reported $3.89 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.82 by $0.07. Apple had a net margin of 21.13% and a return on equity of 37.37%. The business had revenue of $88.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $87.62 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $3.36 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Apple will post 11.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About Apple

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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