Is an Apple Inc. (AAPL) Virtual Reality Smart Device in the Future? New Hiring Points that Way

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There are always new rumors popping up about the world’s most talked about technology company, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Whether it be rumors of new iCars, the latest features on the newest iPhones, or patent implications discovered on the net, there are always interested parties looking to dream up the next direction the company is headed in.

Now, a recent hiring gives rumor-makers another few gallons of fuel to work with, in conjuring up another possible Apple move. Apple has apparently hired one of the most brilliant minds in virtual and augmented reality in the United States, Virginia Tech professor Doug Bowman. Bowman is considered to be a genius when it comes to 3D interfaces, and it makes us wonder what his role will be for the tech giant.

Undoubtedly virtual reality is the future when it comes to how we view everything from video games to movies, and perhaps even more. Could it be possible that one day the iPhone will be replaced by a pair of contact lenses or glasses which display virtual reality images onto our eyeballs? Anything is possible, and it will be very interesting to follow this move and see if Apple provides any future hints as to if and when they decide to jump feet first into the virtual reality space.

The stock is up 3.63% or $3.49 following the news, hitting $99.79 per share. About 5.54 million shares traded hands. AAPL has declined 24.35% since June 17, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 13.33%.

From a total of 32 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock, 28 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 4 a “Hold”. This means that 88% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $200 while the lowest target price is $102. The mean of all analyst targets is $142.97 which is 43.27% above today’s ($99.79) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic of 105 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Deutsche Bank maintained shares on January 11 with a “Hold” rating. Stifel Nicolaus maintained shares with a”Buy” rating and a $140 target share price in their report from a December 23. Mizuho upgraded AAPL stock in a recent report from January 11 to a “Buy” rating. Barclays Capital maintained the rating on December 14. Barclays Capital has a “Overweight” rating and a $150 price target on shares. Finally, Canaccord Genuity maintained the stock with a “Buy” rating in a report they issued on a January 8.

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 insider buys, and 6 sales for a total of $11.59 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 $3.01M. 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 $540.77 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 10.85 P/E ratio. The Firm also delivers digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, App StoreSM, iBookstoreSM, and Mac App Store.