Apple Inc. (AAPL) Accused of Patent Infringement by Valencell Regarding Apple Watch

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) yesterday was accused in a lawsuit filed in North Carolina of infringing on patents held by the Raleigh-based sensor technology company Valencell. The patents in question, which Valencell alleges are used for Apple’s Watch, are related to Valencell’s PerformTek heart rate sensor technology.

Valencell accuses Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) of leading the company on, allowing them to get up close and personal with their technology before deciding not to license it. They then went on to use very similar technology within their Apple Watch. Meetings between the companies took place in 2013 and 2014 before licensing deals fell through.

The stock increased 0.09% or $0.09 during the last trading session, hitting $105.35. About 41,469 shares traded hands. AAPL has declined 19.30% since June 1, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 16.29%.

From a total of 30 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 27 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 $147.93 which is 40.42% above today’s ($105.35) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 96 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Stifel Nicolaus maintained shares on December 23 with a “Buy” rating. Barclays Capital maintained shares with a”Overweight” rating and a $150 target share price in their report from a December 14. Cowen & Co maintained AAPL stock in a recent report from December 22 with a “Market Perform” rating. BMO Capital Markets initiated the rating on December 11. BMO Capital Markets has a “Outperform” rating and a $145 price target on shares. Finally, UBS maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a December 16.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.18 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.22, from 0.96 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, 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 7 insider sales for a total of $17.48 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 $3.01M. 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 $586.86 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 11.45 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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