Apple Inc. (AAPL) acquisition of Faceshift May Bring CGI Animation to the Masses

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We all know that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has plenty of cash on hand, enough to purchase virtually any smaller technology company that they desire. Back in September, rumors began swirling that they had acquired motion capture firm, Faceshift. At the time, these were merely rumors, but now apparently Techcrunch has confirmed that Apple is the company behind the acquisition.

Faceshift technology has been used in numerous films and video games for CGI facial animation. This includes the latest Star Wars film, “The Force Awakens”, in order to create some of the non-human characters. While the acquisition isn’t a huge one on Apple’s part, it should be interesting to see what they will use the technology for. Will we see facial recognition and animation in a future iPhone? Anything is possible. It should also be intriguing to see how this news effects Apple’s stock as trading continues today.

The stock is up 0.17% or $0.2 after the positive news, hitting $119.08 per share. About 135,489 shares traded hands. AAPL has declined 8.32% since April 23, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 7.31% 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 26.34% above today’s ($119.08) 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 9 selling transactions for $29.79 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 $9.20M.

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 $663.91 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 12.95 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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