Apple: Buy, Sell, or Hold?

Apple (AAPL) stock has performing fairly well over the past month after dropping in February and March. Sales for the company continue to do well. So is now a good time to buy the stock? Read more to find out.

Apple (AAPL) has performed well across the prior month, rising from $124 to $134. The stock has also performed well across the previous six months, jumping from $117 in October to $143 in January.

Though AAPL has since declined to $132, it is still priced higher now than six months ago. Rewind back to April of 2020, and AAPL was priced around $67, meaning the stock has doubled in a year's time.

Where does this consumer electronics giant go from here? Let's find out.

AAPL Points of Note

AAPL has a fairly high forward P/E ratio of 29.83. However, this forward P/E ratio is not as concerning as some might think as the company makes cutting-edge high-tech devices. Compare AAPL's forward P/E ratio to that of competitors in its space, and you will find AAPL's ratio is quite reasonable. This ratio is even more tolerable when you factor in AAPL's current price, which is merely $12 below its 52-week high of $145.09.

AAPL earnings and revenue jumped 10% and 6%, respectively, in fiscal 2020. Sales of Mac computers, software services, AirPods, Apple Watches, and iPads are up, offsetting the slight decline in iPhone sales. The drop in iPhone sales is particularly concerning considering the implementation of 5G throughout the United States and other regions of the world. It is also concerning that iPhones constitute half of AAPL's annual revenue.

AAPL revenue jumped more than 20% on a year over year basis in the first quarter of 2021, hitting an impressive $111.4 billion. It is particularly interesting to note that AAPL sales are up more than 55% in China. AAPL earnings per share are up 35%. However, trouble might loom for AAPL's Mac computers as Alphabet's (GOOGL) Chromebooks shipped at a higher clip than MacBooks for the full year. With that said, analysts still anticipate AAPL earnings and revenue to grow in the year ahead. All in all, AAPL ended the initial quarter of 2021 with just under $200 billion in cash and equivalents.

AAPL According to Analysts

Analysts are fairly bullish on AAPL. The average analyst target price for the stock is $152.50. The analysts' highest target price for the stock is $175, while the lowest is $83. If AAPL hits the analysts' average target price, it will have increased by slightly more than 13%.

Of the forty-one analysts who have provided recommendations for the stock, eleven consider it a Strong Buy, twenty consider it a Buy, six consider it a Hold, one considers it a Sell, and one considers it a Strong Sell.


AAPL has an overall grade of C, which translates into a Neutral rating in the POWR Ratings system. AAPL has a grade of B in the Sentiment and Quality components of the POWR Ratings and a C in the Stability component. Those who would like to learn more about how AAPL fares in Momentum, Value, and Growth can do so by clicking here.

Out of 48 publicly traded companies in the Technology - Hardware industry, AAPL is ranked 23rd. Investors can find top stocks in that industry by clicking here.

Buy, Hold or Sell?

Hold. AAPL's Neutral rating in the POWR Ratings is concerning. Making matters worse for AAPL investors is that the stock has more grades of Cs than Bs and As in the POWR Ratings components. In fact, AAPL does not have a single component graded higher than B. Add in the fact that AAPL is ranked smack dab in the middle of the nearly 50 stocks that comprise the Technology - Hardware industry, and there is even more reason not to buy the stock.

AAPL shares were trading at $132.10 per share on Wednesday morning, down $1.01 (-0.76%). Year-to-date, AAPL has declined -0.30%, versus a 10.78% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

About the Author: Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan has more than a dozen years of investing experience with a focus on information technology, consumer and entertainment sectors. In addition to working for StockNews, Patrick has also written for Wealth Authority and Fallon Wealth Management.


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