Apple Inc. (AAPL) Teams With China UnionPay To Offer Apple Pay In China

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) today announced an important partnership with China UnionPay which will bring Apple Pay to China. Through this partnership UnionPay cardholders will be able to add their bank cards to Apple Pay and use their Apple iPhone, Watch or iPad to transact conveniently.

“China UnionPay is dedicated to promoting payment innovations and providing secure, convenient mobile payment experiences for its hundreds of millions of cardholders, aligning multiple parties in the industry,” said Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay. “We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.”

So just how big a deal could this be for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Well, there have been over 5 billion UnionPay cards issued throughout the world to date. This appears to be the shot in the arm that Apple needed to expand their service in China. The stock decreased 2.12% or $2.36 during the last trading session, hitting $108.98. About 44.77M shares traded hands or 11.56% up from the average. AAPL has declined 15.37% since May 15, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 13.10%.

From a total of 29 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 26 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 3 a “Hold”. This means that 90% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $200 while the lowest target price is $125. The mean of all analyst targets is $149.71 which is 37.37% above today’s ($108.98) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 92 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. UBS maintained shares on December 16 with a “Buy” rating. Mizuho maintained shares with a”Hold” rating and a $125 target share price in their report from an October 28. BMO Capital Markets initiated AAPL stock in a recent report from December 11 with a “Outperform” rating. Oppenheimer maintained the rating on October 28. Oppenheimer has a “Buy” rating and a $125 price target on shares. Finally, Macquarie Research maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on an October 28.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.18 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.22, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio is positive, as 103 funds sold all their Apple Inc. shares they owned while 854 reduced their positions. 102 funds bought stakes while 1032 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 3.20 billion shares which is 1.58% less than the previous share count of 3.25 billion in 2015Q2.

Compton Capital Management Inc Ri holds 45.15% of its total portfolio in Apple Inc., equating to 113,694 shares. Raiff Partners Inc owns 100,000 shares representing 32.27% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Rfg Advisory Group Llc has 25.06% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 70,558 shares. The New York-based Independent Investors Inc has a total of 23.66% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Dock Street Asset Management Inc, a Connecticut-based fund reported 269,584 shares owned.

Since March 6, 2015, the stock had 0 buys, and 8 insider sales for a total of $20.59 million in net activity. Maestri Luca sold 2,908 shares worth $325,347. Williams Jeffrey E sold 46,873 shares worth $5.18 million. Riccio Daniel J. sold 24,085 shares worth $3.01 million. Ahrendts Angela J sold 44,789 shares worth $5.90M. The insider Levinson Arthur D sold 70,000 shares worth $9.20M.

Apple Inc. 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 has a market cap of $620.76 billion. The Company’s services and products 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. It has 11.85 P/E ratio. The Firm also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store.

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