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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Rating Reiterated by Wedbush



Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating restated by stock analysts at Wedbush in a research report issued on Monday, 24/7 WallStreet reports.

AAPL has been the topic of several other reports. DA Davidson increased their price objective on shares of Apple to $270.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. UBS Group set a $235.00 target price on shares of Apple and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 16th. Rosenblatt Securities reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Apple in a report on Monday, July 8th. Loop Capital upped their target price on shares of Apple to $200.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Cowen set a $250.00 price target on shares of Apple and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating, twenty-four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Apple presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $217.25.

Shares of NASDAQ:AAPL opened at $216.70 on Monday. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $206.88 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $196.24. The stock has a market capitalization of $963.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.19, a PEG ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 1.24. Apple has a 12-month low of $142.00 and a 12-month high of $233.47. The company has a current ratio of 1.50, a quick ratio of 1.47 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The iPhone maker reported $2.18 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.10 by $0.08. Apple had a return on equity of 52.13% and a net margin of 21.50%. The firm had revenue of $53.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $53.39 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.34 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Apple will post 11.67 EPS for the current year.

In other news, insider Chris Kondo sold 4,376 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $217.47, for a total value of $951,648.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Arthur D. Levinson sold 17,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $201.69, for a total value of $3,529,575.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,150,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $232,101,423.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 304,536 shares of company stock worth $62,894,611 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Apple by 33.1% in the 2nd quarter. Princeton Global Asset Management LLC now owns 13,921 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $2,755,000 after purchasing an additional 3,464 shares in the last quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its stake in Apple by 2.3% during the second quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 1,216,742 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock valued at $240,818,000 after acquiring an additional 27,694 shares in the last quarter. Stonehage Fleming Financial Services Holdings Ltd purchased a new position in Apple during the second quarter valued at $2,392,000. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group increased its holdings in shares of Apple by 5.8% in the second quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 47,720 shares of the iPhone maker’s stock worth $9,445,000 after purchasing an additional 2,616 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atria Investments LLC bought a new stake in Apple in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $23,325,000. Institutional investors own 58.77% of the company’s stock.

Apple Company Profile

Apple Inc designs, manufactures, and markets mobile communication and media devices, and personal computers. It also sells various related software, services, accessories, and third-party digital content and applications. The company offers iPhone, a line of smartphones; iPad, a line of multi-purpose tablets; and Mac, a line of desktop and portable personal computers, as well as iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems.

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‘Perfectly Real’ Manipulated Videos Are Just 6 Months Away, Says Deepfake Pioneer




Deepfake pioneer Hao Li said that digitally manipulated videos could become ‘perfectly real’ in as early as half-a-year to a year’s time. He cited the emergence of apps such as the Chinese-developed ‘Zao’ and growing research focus on the field.  ( MIT Technology Review | Twitter )

A deepfake expert has warned that even regular people will soon be able to create digitally altered videos that look “perfectly real.”

Hao Li, a computer science professor at the University of Southern California, recently discussed the future of deepfake technology.

In an interview with CNBC, Li said that most manipulated videos can still be easily spotted even with the naked eye. However, there are some that have actually become very convincing. He said that these videos often require “sufficient effort” to produce.

According to Li’s estimate, “perfectly real” will be easily accessible to the public in about six to 12 months.

What Is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake is a portmanteau of the words “deep learning” and “fake” and refers to computer programs that combine human image synthesis with artificial intelligence. The technology is often used to create digital representations or manipulated videos that are made to seem real.

With deepfake technology becoming increasingly more sophisticated over the years, some people are starting to become concerned about its possible negative effects. Digitally altered videos could be used to promote disinformation and confusion among the general public, particularly in the context of global politics as noted by CNBC.

For instance, several social media campaigns and smartphone apps have already been used to spread misinformation, all for the purpose of interrupting elections in different parts of the world.

Emergence Of Digitally Manipulated Videos

Li, who had presented a deepfake of Russian president Vladimir Putin at an MIT tech conference last week, said he initially thought perfect digitally manipulated videos would become reality in two to three years.

However, he later sent out an email explaining that it might actually happen in just half a year to a year.

The deepfake pioneer said he was forced to “recalibrate” his timeline because of recent developments in the technology. He cited the growing popularity of a Chinese-developed app known as Zao, as well as the growing interest of researchers on the field.

“In some ways we already know how to do it,” Li mentioned in the email. He added that the emergence of perfect deepfake is “only a matter of training with more data and implementing it.”

Zao allows users to swap their faces with other people. It uses photographs taken by app owners and then digitally inserts them into scenes from popular movies and TV shows. Despite growing concerns regarding Zao’s privacy policy, it is reportedly among the most popular programs in China.

Li warned that there will come a point that people won’t be able to tell which ones are deepfakes and which ones are real anymore. He said this is why there’s a need to look at other types of solutions as well.

ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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