Everything You Need to Know About Apple Stock

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 7, 2023

Invest in Apple stock today with Interactive Brokers or Robinhood as your trusted online brokerage.

As one of the largest tech companies in the world, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been a mainstay for technology ETFs — and value investors — for decades. A new dip in Apple’s stock price may present new opportunities for novice investors.

If you’ve never invested before, you might think that you need millions of dollars to become a serious investor. However, the truth is that you can get started with just a few dollars in your account. 

Our guide will teach you how to open a brokerage account, how to buy stocks and how to start your investing portfolio off right. In doing so, you can buy Apple stock now and wait for it to rise to new heights.

How to Buy Apple (AAPL) Stock Now

If you’ve never bought a share of stock before, you’ll first need to open a brokerage account. After opening and funding your account, you’ll place a buy order through your broker’s trading platform. 

Follow these 4 simple steps to get started.  

Pick a Brokerage

A broker is a financial service provider that’s authorized to buy and sell shares of stocks on behalf of retail investors. The broker that you choose will determine how much you pay in commissions on each trade, the platform that you have access to, the type of investments that you can buy and sell and more. Because Apple stock trades on the Nasdaq, nearly every broker operating in the United States will allow you to freely trade Apple stock. This means that you can take plenty of time comparing brokers before you choose where you want to open your account. Not sure where to start your search? Consider a few of our favorite brokers below.

Decide How Many Shares You Want

Next you’ll need to decide how many shares of Apple stock you want to buy. Don’t feel pressured to buy more shares of stock than you can comfortably afford. Remember that you can always purchase a single share and add to your investment later down the line. If you only have a few dollars to invest, you might want to consider starting with a fractional share of Apple stock. A fractional share, as the name suggests, is a portion of a single share of stock equal to the amount of money that you invest at the current stock market rate. The best brokers allow you to invest in fractional shares by setting a limit on your investment budget and automatically calculating the number of shares that you can afford.

Choose Your Order Type

When you know how many shares of Apple stock you want to purchase, the next choice you’ll need to make is which kind of buy order you want to use to invest. The type of buy order you choose will confirm the details of your order, how much you’ll pay per share, when your order will be executed and more.

Some of the most common types of orders you might can include:

  • Market orders: A market order is executed as soon as possible at the current market rate. Market rates help ensure that your order is filled but can cause you to pay more than you anticipated for each share of stock you buy.
  • Limit orders:A limit order is executed only at a specific price or below. For example, you might place a limit order to buy 100 shares of Apple stock with a limit price of $120. In this example, your broker would only fill the order if it was possible to buy each share at a price of $120 or less per share.
  • Stop orders: A stop order is executed only if the price of a stock rises above a certain price. For example, you might set a stop order to buy Apple stock with a stop price of $125. If the price of Apple stock rises above $125 a share, your order will automatically be converted to a limit order before executing. Stop orders can be useful for momentum plays and when a sell wall is stopping you from investing.
  • Trailing stop orders: Trailing stop orders are executed when and if a stock rises above its lowest price by a specific amount. For example, you can specify that you want to buy 100 shares of Apple stock when the price rises 5% above its low price of the day. Most brokers also allow you to specify your low price in terms of percentages or dollars.
  • Stop-limit order: A stop-limit order combines the characteristics of both a stop order and a limit order. When you place a stop-limit order, you’ll specify a lower stop price and a higher limit price — these prices act as the boundaries for your order. When the stop price is reached, your order will convert to a limit order. If the market price of the stock rises above the limit price, your broker will stop filling your order. These are just a few examples of the dozens of types of buy orders your broker might support. Buy order options will vary depending on the broker you work with and sometimes the type of stock or fund that you’re investing in.

Execute Your Trade

Double-check that you have your order details correct before submitting it to your broker. From this point, your broker is responsible for filling the order according to your directions. If the broker is able to fill the order, you’ll receive a notification via email or push notification depending on your account settings. You’ll also see your shares in your brokerage account the next time you log in. If your broker can’t fill the order according to your directions, the broker may cancel the order at the end of the day or leave it open for up to 90 days. You can also cancel the order at any time before it’s filled.

Apple Stock Predictions 

In the tech space of the United States, Apple’s popularity and products are unrivaled.

Though the exact percentage is debated, most researchers agree that Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, now accounts for over 20% of smartphone usage in the U.S. This number continues to grow annually and is projected to continue through 2023. 

Despite Apple’s ever-growing popularity, the stock has not been immune to the many rapid changes in the economy, global policy and consumer behavior in recent years. Read on to learn more about where Apple’s stock has been in the past year and stock predictions on where it may move in 2023 and beyond. 

Apple Stock History

It’s well-documented that Apple started in a California garage and grew on the innovative ideas of one of its founders, Steve Jobs. Founded in 1976 in the Jobs’ family home in Los Altos, CA, Apple Computer Company would eventually grow to become one of the biggest giants in the tech world. 

While it’s easy to look at Apple as the corporate giant it is today and assume it has always found success, the company experienced long periods of sub-optimal results, declining profits and lack of innovation. Apple even fired Jobs in the 80’s, only to acquire the new company he built and bring him back over a decade later.

Apple’s stock has been on a meteoric rise since 2007, the year the company released the iPhone. The iPhone changed the way the consumer looked at personal devices and spurred on innovation in Apple’s other product lines. In 2007, Apple stock averaged a price of around $4 per share. At its peak in late 2021, the stock was trading at an average price of $177 per share.

While Apple remains on the forefront of technology innovation, 2022 was a wake-up call for many who thought the stock couldn’t lose. Though many companies saw continuing results of damage following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 was a particularly rough year for the tech powerhouse once thought to be a guaranteed winner. 

Apple Stock’s Performance in 2022

Apple stock traded at $175 on Jan. 1, 2022, and ended the year at a value of about $130 per share. The 26% decline in the stock price was the largest single-year slide in company history and outpaced the S&P’s 18.6% decline. Apple did fare better than the average of its tech competitors, as the NASDAQ lost a whopping 33% in 2022.

While it’s evident from looking at other stocks that Apple was not alone in 2022’s struggles, the stock’s poor performance taught investors that Apple is not bulletproof. The stock ebbed and flowed through the first three quarters of 2022, and in early August, it had risen back to around the same price it opened the year at, around $175. Typically, the holiday season boosts Apple’s fourth quarter, but this year was different.

In the early days of the pandemic back in 2020 and ‘21, Apple continued to thrive. It was, in a way, a perfect storm for people to buy Apple products. The work-from-home movement was in full swing, people had extra cash in their pockets from stimulus checks and the dreaded supply chain issues hadn’t wrecked inventories. In 2022, that all reversed course; and it happened at the worst possible time.

Many people are now returning to work, meaning home computers and other gadgets aren’t as in demand. Rather than having a surplus of cash to spend, Americans are struggling to keep up with the rate of inflation. Perhaps worst of all for Apple, the supply chain finally caught up to them just in time for the holidays in 2022. With increased demand for the new 14th generation iPhone, many consumers couldn’t get their hands on one, causing revenues to fall short of projections.

While many only think about Apple’s device and hardware sales (phones, computers, headphones, etc.) to try to forecast and analyze performance, it’s continued foray into different premium software subscriptions is also a large part of its revenue stream. As prices on all consumer goods and services went up from record inflation, Americans cut back on services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music, which also contributed to the lack of growth in the software category.

Where Will Apple Stock Be in 2023?

Apple stock opened 2023 at around $130 per share. So, is Apple stock “on sale,” or could the downward spiral continue; and if it does, for how long? Does Apple’s popularity compared to other tech brands lend toward a faster recovery? Should you buy Apple stock today?

These are the questions on the minds of many investors in 2023, and considerations on both sides support the argument. The following are a few price drivers, consumer trends and external factors that can make or break Apple’s stock in 2023.

Supply Chain Issues

COVID-19 continues to pop up in various corners of the world, and different governments, companies and individuals put varying degrees of restrictions in place to combat its spread. Regardless of where you stand on these policies, it’s no secret that restrictions in China have slowed Apple’s supply chain. 

While it’s difficult (and maybe impossible) to forecast COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, varying and changing requirements have forced companies like Apple to adapt and source new manufacturing territory. Apple has been rumored to be expanding manufacturing to other countries to combat future restrictions. It’s possible that as the company adapts, supply chains will strengthen and lockdowns will have less of an impact in 2023.

Company Strength

While many look at Apple’s 26% stock slide in 2022 and predict stock forecast doom-and-gloom for 2023, a look at some concrete data suggests a different approach may make more sense. In 2021, Apple made a stunning 33% increase in year-over-year revenue growth. Compare this to 5.5% the previous year, and it’s easy to see why the stock exploded. Digging into 2022, Apple’s year-over-year increase was almost 8%.

The stock did struggle in 2022, but Apple’s 2022 was better than its 2020 from a revenue standpoint. The company is still very strong and is only gaining popularity headed into 2023. AirPods, iPhones, MacBooks and other Apple products are at the top of the market and the preferred brand of the majority of Americans (if they can afford them). 

Historical Precedent

Though the numbers were much smaller, back in 2008 before the Great Recession hit, Apple was on fire. The company had just released the iPhone one year prior, and it saw another spike similar to the one seen before COVID-19 lockdowns. During the recession of 2008, Apple stock went from above $7 per share down to just below $3, a much larger dip, percentage wise, than 2022’s. 

Following the recession, Apple recovered to pre-recession stock prices in late 2009 and skyrocketed in the years to follow. It’s impossible to tell if a similar pattern will occur in 2023 and beyond, but Apple has been here before and emerged stronger after a recession. 

Since Apple remains innovative, popular and financially strong, it is in position to succeed in 2023. However, external factors like the rate of inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic and speed in which the U.S. economy enters recovery can all play a part in determining if investors see rapid or steady growth through the coming year. Either way, while it’s always difficult to predict a forecast perfectly, Apple is poised to return to solid returns in the next 12 months.

Pros of Buying AAPL Stock

Arguably one of the most exciting future developments for Apple investors is the growth of 5G technology. Apple has recently announced that its iPhone model will support 5G speeds as early as 2023, and the company has invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing 5G-capable microchips. If you buy Apple stock now, you may well ride the wave that 5G technology can provide.

The announcement of the 2021 release of the iPhone also has investors buzzing, with new technology like astrophotography and 120 hertz refresh rates anticipated to be included on upcoming releases. The announcement of the new iPhone’s features may drive Apple’s stock prices out of its current slump. Additionally, new iPhones, colors and styles seem to be coming out faster than ever, making the company as relevant as it can possibly be.

Moreover, we have a whole host of people who won’t date someone who isn’t an iPhone user. Plus, relatives and friends often pressure Android users to switch tot he iPhone for the blue text bubbles and access to Facetime. In short, the company has crawled into the very depths of America’s social conversation.

Cons to Buying AAPL Stock

Even the most enthusiastic Apple investor can’t deny that the iPhone isn’t the driving growth force that it once was. iPhone sales have been trending downward, and the once dominant smartphone now makes up less than 50% of new phone sales. 

While there is currently no imminent threat to Apple’s market share in the same way that Apple essentially took over BlackBerry, more and more consumers are switching to Android models or new models introduced by Chinese tech companies like Huawei. 

Adding Apple to Your Portfolio

Looking for a way to invest in Apple without risking all your funds on the fate of a single company? Consider investing in shares of a tech ETF instead of shares of Apple stock. 

Tech ETFs like the Vanguard Information Technology Index Fund ETF hold large holdings in Apple while also retaining shares of other major tech giants. Investing in a technology ETF allows you to instantly diversify your portfolio while also increasing your exposure to Apple.  

What is Apple Stock?

Apple is a technology company offering electronics, software and streaming services. It’s the world’s largest company by market capitalization, currently just above $2.6 trillion. The company’s product range consists of computers, smartphones, tablets and accessories.

The founders established the company in 1976 to sell Apple I, a personal computer. The following year, Apple II became a bestseller, and the company went public in 1980. In 2018, Apple was the first U.S. public company to have a value of over $1 trillion. The company’s value surged to $2 trillion in 2020 and reached $3 trillion in January 2022. 

The original Macintosh computer featured innovative graphical user interfaces. After losing a significant market share of personal computers during the 1990s, Apple introduced products such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Steve Jobs’s advertising campaigns received critical acclaim and resulted in an international product launch.

The company expanded operations by opening the Apple Store retail chain and buying several businesses to extend its product range. Apple received credit for making products such as a digital audio player and a touchscreen phone more prominent and accessible to a global market. 

Apple’s obsession with innovation resulted in the production of AirPods — wireless Bluetooth earbuds. It has integrated its software into the Apple Watch and offered streaming services via Apple TV+. The company also offers wearables and accessories.  

Analyst Ratings for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)

Investors who bought Apple’s stock in the second half of 2015 watched the price rally by more than 600% to an all-time high, set in January 2022.  

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) most recent analyst rating: Barclays reported an analysis of Apple’s stock on Mar. 11, 2022. Its 12-month forecast sees the stock reach $170 per share, a 6.52% upside potential. Apple maintained its equal-weight rating.

A poll consisting of 44 investment analysts resulted in bullish sentiment. The recommendation ratings are:

  • Buy - 28 
  • Outperform - 6
  • Hold - 8
  • Underperform - 1
  • Sell - 1  

A prior analysis, forecasted by Tigress Financial in February 2022, expects the stock to reach $210.

  • What is the price target for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)?: Included in Apple’s 12-month forecasts were 37 analysts. While Barclays provided the recent stock forecast of $170, some analysts predict the price reaching $215. The low estimate of Apple’s stock is $127. 
  • Of the 37 analysts, the median target for the stock is $192. At the current price of $158.86, Apple’s stock reaching the median target would represent a 21% surge.  
  • When is the next rating for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) due?: Besides analyzing fundamentals and technicals, analysts use public financial statements and developing global affairs to determine ratings. Most analysts conclude these analyses after each fiscal quarter. Apple’s next rating should be in April 2022. 
  • What is Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) most recent guidance?: Apple has avoided providing guidance since the beginning of COVID-19. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the company expected solid year-over-year revenue growth for the March quarter.

Key Statistics for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)

Buying or selling a stock entails an analysis of a company’s key performance statistics. Benzinga examined Apple’s yield and margins. 

  • Earnings yield: An earnings yield is the ratio of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) in the last 12 months to its price per share. Apple had an EPS of $5.61 for the 2021 fiscal year and a stock price of $159 at the time of writing. That equates to an earnings yield of 3.53%.   
  • Gross margin: Apple’s gross margin — net sales minus the cost of goods sold — is 42.2%. The company’s gross margin had decreased for several years prior to 2020, when it increased. Apple’s current gross margin has significantly improved from 38% in 2020.
  • Net margin: Net margin is the net profit as a percentage of revenue. For Apple, it’s 24.65%. Not only is Apple profitable, but it increased profits from 2020, when it had a 21% net margin.
  • Operating Margin: Apple’s operating margin is 28.53%. An operating margin is a profit a business makes on a dollar of sales after paying variable production costs. Apple’s operating margin has decreased in the last few years, indicating that its operating costs increased. 

Although several analysts believe that Apple’s stock price is poised for growth, it’s not the only tech stock with long-term potential.   

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT): Microsoft is the third-largest company in the world by market cap, $2.1 trillion. The company makes up about 6% of the S&P 500 and 10% of the Nasdaq 100. It also boasts a strong balance sheet. In 2020, Microsoft had $136 billion cash on hand.

Microsoft’s share price has been on an upward trajectory for the last five years and reached an all-time high in November 2021. Since then, it’s been in a downtrend. One of the reasons for the share price’s pullback is Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI).

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): With a market value of $1.5 trillion and a share price around $3,000, Amazon remains one of the favorite tech stocks. The company is the largest retailer in the world, making almost 50 cents of every dollar spent online in the U.S.

Amazon is poised for further growth thanks to the uptrend in consumers’ digital spending. But retail isn’t the only sector it dominates. Amazon Web Services has a 33% global market share in cloud infrastructure.

Company shakeups tend to have an adverse impact on the share price. But investors were unphased when Andy Jassy replaced Jeff Bezos as the CEO.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL): Alphabet is Google’s parent company, and YouTube is a subsidiary of Google. The company seems immune to negative world affairs because it set its record for annual revenue in 2021. Alphabet generated a $257 billion revenue, a 41% year-on-year growth, in 2021.

Google’s future seems bright as its ad network is the main platform for digital marketing. It accounted for almost 30% of the total digital advertising revenue in the U.S. The company’s dominance in the search engine market is just over 90%.

Alphabet’s only competition in digital marketing is Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), which has experienced a steady decline in advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Benzinga’s guide will help you to buy Alphabet stock

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) a good stock to buy now?

A

Of the 44 investment analysts polled, 28 stated that Apple is a buy. Six analysts said that the stock would outperform. Also, 37 analysts offered a 12-month forecast. The median target of Apple’s stock was $192, representing a 21% increase from the price at publishing.

Of the 37 analysts, some believe the stock would reach $215. The gloomiest forecast for Apple’s stock forecast was $127. Benzinga provides further info about how to buy Apple stock.

Q

What is Apple’s stock symbol?

A

Apple’s stock symbol is AAPL on the Nasdaq exchange. 

Q

Is Apple stock a profitable investment?

A

Apple can be a profitable investment for 2023, as the stock is poised for a return following a rough 2022. Remember that no stock is guaranteed to provide a return — so you should only invest as much as you can afford to lose

About Joshua Enomoto

His distinct writing style of distilling convoluted data into relatable and compelling narratives has earned him recognition among several investment-related publications.