Will This Bank of America Upgrade Help Apple (AAPL) Today? (Update)

Update (9:44 a.m.): Updated with Friday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America raised its target price on Apple (AAPL)

The stock hovered around its previous closing price of $544.43 shortly after the market opened on Friday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AAPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.23, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • 41.65% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.69% is above that of the industry average.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • APPLE INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, APPLE INC reported lower earnings of $39.63 versus $44.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($42.72 versus $39.63).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AAPL Ratings Report

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