According to a site providing access to real-time financial information, on Thursday traders sold into strength a high volume of shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The site also reported that the uptick volume of the stock reached $1,764.40 million, while the downtick volume showed $1,856.20 million, with a downtick net flow out of the stock of $91.80 million.
Analysts also reported that Apple had Thursday the highest net out-flow. The company closed to $118.90 per share, with a $3.59 increase.
On Thursday, according to statistics, Citigroup Inc. set its price target on Apple shares to $135.00, while giving the company a “buy”rating. Goldman Sachs also opted for a buy rating, while setting its price target to $130.00. JPMorgan Chase & Co. chose to boost the initial price target from $112.00 to $140.00, and set an “overweight” rating. The Deutsche Bank was more cautious, and opted for a boost in price target of shares from $102.00 to only $110.00. The Deutsche Bank status showed a “hold” rating for Apple.
Two financial analyst firms rated the stock with a “sell” status, thirty-six companies issued a buy rating, while eleven were on a hold rating. The current market cap of Apple is $692.8 billion, while its price-to-earnings ratio increased to 15.61 percent.
On Wednesday, traders purchased 1,244,226 call options on Apple shares increasing the volume of call options by 162 percent. The usual daily volume is not larger than 500,000.
Given these figures, analysts are optimistic about the stock’s evolution.
The optimism is fueled by other events, too.
On Tuesday, Apple reported its December quarter financial results. According to the report, the figures skyrocketed due to the massive sales of iPhones last year. Additionally, the company predicted that the March quarter results would be in-line with investors’ expectations, while a strengthening dollar would only add up to the positive results.
On Wednesday, the shares steadily increased, while on Thursday they were up by nearly $2 in a weak market.
In the past three months, Apple reported mainly positive results. Its September quarter report shows that the shares rose by 19 percent from $99.76 per share in late October to an all-time-high $119 during an intra-quarter, followed by a 9 percent gain at $109.14 before the December results were published.
Despite the tidal wave of optimism, there are enough skeptics in the investing community. At least six very well rated investment analysts center their comments on the idea that the current results are as good as they can get and growth would soon decelerate if not turn negative over this year or the next.
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