According to the latest Cascend Securities analytical report, The status of Apple (AAPL) shares have been changed from “hold” to “buy”. Despite the fact that Apple may still suffer from slumping iPhone shares, investors seem to believe in a rising AAPL share price.
Apple’s Q2 results
During its recent second-quarter earnings release, Apple admitted that the sales of its flagship product – the iPhone – fell 17% to $31 billion, from $37 billion, due to a weakened demand in 2018. This fall in iPhone sales is the main reason for the decline in Apple’s overall profits, which are down 16% to $11.6 billion. Despite the falling numbers in Apple’s major department, investors’ sentiment towards AAPL shares still looks positive.
As of 28 May 2019, the Apple Inc share price has fallen 5.31 % during the week. APPL closed, in the most recent session, at $178.97. However, recent Apple stock performance shows that AAPL shares year-to-date are 13.46% up over the last quarter, and 1.12% up for the last 6 months.
Analysing Apple’s Q2 report, investors were pleased to know that the company managed to set an all-time record for its Services department, which has grown by 16%, and continue strengthening the installed base of over 1.4 billion active devices.
The released numbers that there is also a strong momentum for products in the Wearables, Accessories and Home departments. With a 30% growth, these Apple departments set a new record in March. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook mentioned “We delivered our strongest iPad growth in six years, and we are as excited as ever about our pipeline of innovative hardware, software and services. We’re looking forward to sharing more with developers and customers at Apple’s 30th annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.”
Even Warren Buffett – the owner of more than $50 billion worth of Apple stock – told CNBC that he was pleased with Apple’s earnings, claiming that the figures strongly support why his company holds such a significant stake in Apple.
Apple is raising dividends
Dividend increases are a very important feature of every earnings season. Will the AAPL shareholders get more coins to their pockets this year? For sure they will.
According to the latest Apple share news, Apple has been increasing its quarterly payouts for 7 years in a row. The latest is a 5% increase up to $0.77 per share, which gives a 1.7% yield. Apple’s CFO Luca Maestri announces, “We returned over $27 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. Given our confidence in Apple’s future and the value we see in our stock, our Board has authorized an additional $75 billion for share repurchases. We are also raising our quarterly dividend for the seventh time in less than seven years.”
Institutional investors increase their stake in AAPL shares
Supporting the optimistic outlook on Apple Inc share price, some prominent institutional investors and hedge funds have increased their stakes in Apple Inc.:
The Vanguard Group – owns 331.84 million AAPL shares, valued at $66.59 billion
Berkshire Hathaway – owns 249.59 million shares, valued at $50.09 billion
SSgA Funds Management – owns a stake valued at $38, 26 billion
Geode Capital Management – has also increased their stake, so they now own 2,649,400 shares, valued at $12.25 billion.
Today, around 60% of AAPL stock are held by institutional investors.
Apple stock forecast:
Is the Apple stock a “buy” of a “sell”? If you’re still wondering whether to invest in Apple shares, let’s resort to analysts’ opinion. According to the latest Apple stock predictions from 40 investment analysts, AAPL shares deserve a “buy” rating. This status has held steady since the beginning of May. According to the 12-month price forecast for the Apple Inc share price, the median estimate expects a 23.48% increase on the latest price of $178.97.
Despite these bullish views, you should note that the growing hostility between Washington and Beijing, and the consequent ongoing trade war, could threaten and eventually hurt Apple’s results in 2019, considering that China represented 20% of the company’s operating profit and revenue in 2018.
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