Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the target of a large increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 40,313,086 shares, an increase of 3.0% from the July 14th total of 39,149,942 shares. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 21,077,778 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.9 days.

Apple (NASDAQ AAPL) opened at 155.32 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $802.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.63 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a 50-day moving average of $149.58 and a 200 day moving average of $144.00. Apple has a 52-week low of $102.53 and a 52-week high of $161.83.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.57 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $45.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.94 billion. Apple had a net margin of 20.87% and a return on equity of 35.40%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.42 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Apple will post $9.02 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 14th will be issued a $0.63 dividend. This represents a $2.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 10th. Apple’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.64%.

Apple announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, May 2nd that allows the company to repurchase $50.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the iPhone maker to buy up to 6.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, insider Daniel J. Riccio sold 11,949 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.86, for a total transaction of $1,707,034.14. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Luca Maestri sold 4,757 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $154.70, for a total value of $735,907.90. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 3,414 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $528,145.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 299,911 shares of company stock valued at $46,557,634. Company insiders own 0.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vantage Financial Partners Ltd. Inc. acquired a new stake in Apple during the second quarter worth about $400,000. Blue Sky Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Apple during the second quarter worth about $108,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC increased its stake in Apple by 852.4% in the second quarter. FNY Managed Accounts LLC now owns 800 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 716 shares in the last quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners increased its stake in Apple by 27.6% in the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 804 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Apple during the first quarter worth about $117,000. 61.13% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on AAPL shares. Cowen and Company reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Apple in a research note on Friday, April 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their target price on Apple from $155.00 to $157.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Rosenblatt Securities reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, April 17th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “buy” rating and set a $150.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Finally, Macquarie reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $156.00 target price on shares of Apple in a research note on Tuesday, April 18th. Twelve research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, forty-two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Apple has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $167.35.

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Apple Company Profile

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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