Apple Inc. (AAPL) – Apple Pay Coming to China in February

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While Apple’s electronic payment service has been gaining users in much of North America and Europe, it appears that the Cupertino-based firm will soon roll the system out in China. Apple has apparantly reached agreements with the four large state-run banks, and hopes to launch the service as early as February 8th, which preceeds China’s Spring Festival holiday. Typically Apple receives 0.15% of all credit transactions and 0.5% of debit transactions of those users using Apple Pay for their purchases, but they may have negotiated a less lucrative deal with these Chinese banks. The stock closed at $117.75 during the last session. It is down 8.45% since April 22, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 7.44% the S&P500.

Out of 29 analysts covering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), 26 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 90% are positive. $200 is the highest target while $125 is the lowest. The $150.44 average target is 27.76% above today’s ($117.75) stock price. Apple Inc. was the topic in 89 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock on November 18 to “Conviction Buy” rating. Credit Suisse maintained it with “Outperform” rating and $140 target price in an October 28 report. Macquarie Research maintained the shares of AAPL in a report on October 28 with “Buy” rating. Stifel Nicolaus maintained the firm’s rating on October 28. Stifel Nicolaus has “Buy” rating and $150 price target. Finally, Oppenheimer maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in an October 28 report.

The institutional sentiment increased to 0.96 in Q2 2015. Its up 0.04, from 0.92 in 2015Q1. The ratio is positive, as 82 funds sold all Apple Inc. shares owned while 968 reduced positions. 128 funds bought stakes while 884 increased positions. They now own 3.25 billion shares or 19.08% less from 4.02 billion shares in 2015Q1.

American Asset Management Inc. holds 53.4% of its portfolio in Apple Inc. for 7,252 shares. Nevsky Capital Llp owns 2.56 million shares or 34.75% of their US portfolio. Moreover, Summit Securities Group Llc has 28.14% invested in the company for 459,400 shares. The New York-based Independent Investors Inc has invested 24.49% in the stock. Guild Investment Management Inc., a California-based fund reported 55,477 shares.

Since March 6, 2015, the stock had 0 insider purchases, and 10 sales for $32.96 million 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 $9.20 million.

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 $665.14 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 12.8 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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