Standard Life Investments LTD increased its stake in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by 9.9% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 4,148,774 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock after buying an additional 372,103 shares during the period. Apple accounts for about 1.9% of Standard Life Investments LTD’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th largest position. Standard Life Investments LTD’s holdings in Apple were worth $468,894,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Apple by 0.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 331,395,817 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $31,681,440,000 after buying an additional 1,408,642 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in Apple by 1.6% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 48,083,386 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $4,596,772,000 after buying an additional 759,339 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Apple by 2.6% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 24,474,691 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $2,339,700,000 after buying an additional 625,760 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its position in Apple by 6,771.0% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 22,633,195 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $999,482,000 after buying an additional 22,303,795 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Apple by 20.2% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 17,027,764 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $1,627,849,000 after buying an additional 2,857,040 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.11% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) opened at 111.57 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $594.93 billion, a PE ratio of 13.43 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $112.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $105.64. Apple Inc. has a 52 week low of $89.47 and a 52 week high of $119.86.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The iPhone maker reported $1.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.66 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $46.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $46.88 billion. Apple had a return on equity of 35.59% and a net margin of 21.19%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.96 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Apple Inc. will post $9.05 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 10th. Investors of record on Monday, November 7th were issued a $0.57 dividend. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 3rd. Apple’s dividend payout ratio is 27.57%.

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Several research firms recently issued reports on AAPL. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $140.00 target price (up from $116.00) on shares of Apple in a research note on Monday, September 19th. OTR Global raised Apple to a “positive” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Cowen and Company lifted their price objective on Apple from $125.00 to $135.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $107.00 price objective on shares of Apple in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Finally, BTIG Research lifted their price objective on Apple from $124.00 to $133.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, forty-two have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Apple currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $128.29.

In other Apple news, CFO Luca Maestri sold 16,950 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.03, for a total value of $1,865,008.50. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 12,055 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,326,411.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Timothy D. Cook sold 49,883 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.19, for a total value of $5,297,075.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.08% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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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