Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s share price gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $105.69, but opened at $105.87. Apple shares last traded at $107.57, with a volume of 22,121,679 shares changing hands.

Several research firms recently weighed in on AAPL. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating on shares of Apple in a research report on Thursday, June 2nd. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Apple to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 27th. Sterne Agee CRT reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $153.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research report on Tuesday, April 26th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, forty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Apple presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $126.12.

The stock has a market capitalization of $579.15 billion and a PE ratio of 12.53. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $98.51 and its 200 day moving average price is $99.62.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The iPhone maker reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.38 by $0.04. The firm earned $42.36 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $42.35 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.85 EPS. Apple’s revenue was down 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Apple Inc. will post $8.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 8th will be given a $0.57 dividend. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 4th.

In other Apple news, SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 103,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.78, for a total value of $9,997,374.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 239,432 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $23,172,228.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Angela J. Ahrendts sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total value of $5,000,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 147,971 shares in the company, valued at $14,797,100. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAPL. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL raised its position in Apple by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL now owns 10,241 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,078,000 after buying an additional 474 shares during the period. Rockland Trust Co. raised its position in Apple by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 10,751 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,132,000 after buying an additional 239 shares during the period. Enterprise Financial Services Corp raised its position in Apple by 19.2% in the fourth quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 10,941 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,152,000 after buying an additional 1,762 shares during the period. Hudock Capital Group LLC raised its position in Apple by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Hudock Capital Group LLC now owns 11,956 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,258,000 after buying an additional 216 shares during the period. Finally, Security National Bank of SO Dak raised its position in Apple by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 12,278 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,292,000 after buying an additional 415 shares during the period.

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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