For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 7, 2018 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Apple AAPLAmazon AMZN, Netflix NFLX, Facebook FB and Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Why Did Apple (AAPL) Stock Surge Friday?

Shares of Apple surged more than 2.4% in early morning trading Friday, defying industry volatility that saw tech behemoths Amazon, Netflix and Facebook open lower. Apple appears to be gaining on the back of news that Warren Buffett has added even more shares of the iPhone maker.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million shares of Apple stock during the first quarter of 2018, the CEO told CNBC on Friday. The Omaha, Nebraska-based giant now holds roughly 240 million Apple shares.

“It’s an amazing business,” Buffett said. “You can put all their products on a dining room table. That’s not the way it used to be in this country. It’s incredible to me.”

Buffett is in Omaha for Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, where the latest Apple purchase will be disclosed on Saturday. The new addition represents a 45% increase to Berkshire’s stake in the consumer electronics bellwether.

Shrugging off concerns that Apple missed smartphone unit sales estimates in its most recent quarter, Buffett explained that spending time trying to guess how many iPhone X devices were sold in a three-month period “totally misses the point” of the stock.

The investing icon also said that Apple is an “unbelievable company” and pointed out that it makes more profit that any other U.S. corporation.

Buffett’s bullishness mirrors a similar uptick in analyst sentiment for Apple. In just the past week, the company has witnessed seven positive revisions to its full-year EPS estimates, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13 cents in that time. Analysts now expect Apple to report earnings growth of 24.1% this fiscal year.

Still, one negative revision within the past few days has kept Apple at a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock does, however, stick out in our Style Scores system with its “B” grades in the Value and Momentum categories.

With Friday’s early gains, Apple is now up 6% on the year and is just 1.5% off its all-time high. Meanwhile, shares are trading at just 15.5x forward 12-month earnings, and its PEG of 1.3 implies that investors are also getting a great price for its growth prospects.

It makes sense that a notorious value investor like Warren Buffett would love Apple right now, but investors looking to ride trends and follow analyst movement might also be a fan of the iPhone maker.

Want more market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
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