Apple Inc. (AAPL) Acquires Emotient — Artificial Intelligence That Reads People’s Emotions

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) today announced quite an interesting acquisition of an artificial intelligence company called Emotient. Emotient is able to read facial expressions in order to judge a person’s emotions from an image.

Just how Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will integrate this technology into their operations is still unknown, but up until this point Emotient’s main clients were advertisers who would use the technology in order to assess the reaction consumers had towards specific ads. Based in San Diego, CA, Emotient had raised $8 million in the past from the likes of Intel Capital, and other investors but had been having trouble raising additional rounds of financing at favorable terms.

The only statement offered by Apple from a spokeswoman regarding this acquisition was the following, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The stock is down 2.81% or $2.83 following the news, hitting $97.87 per share. Approximately 39.52 million shares traded hands. AAPL shares have declined 22.61% since June 3, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 17.92%.

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 51.15% above today’s ($97.87) 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 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 7 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 $3.01 million. Ahrendts Angela J sold 44,789 shares worth $5.90 million. 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 $554.84 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 10.64 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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