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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was upgraded by research analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Monday, American Banking and Market News reports. The firm currently has a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 16.46% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “Mid single digit growth is sustainable beyond near-term quality disruptions in Nutritionals, and there is room for upside with execution in China, with the medical device pipeline, and a concerted effort to reaccelerate EPD with the cadence of product registrations.” The analyst further reminded investors of Abbott’s 57% dividend increase to a 2.7% yield. Lewis also commented on the nutritional slowdown. The analyst wrote, “The Fonterra disruption (~$190mn of 2H13 revs) looks priced in, and execution in China and with the Adult pipeline ($300- 700mn opportunity) could drive upside to our 8-9% growth forecast. In our view, recent growth trends do not reflect the potential for stronger growth on expanding international market mix relative to peers (45% of sales in the US, which is only 20% of the worldwide market).”

ABT has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Deutsche Bank raised their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $37.00 to $39.00 in a research note to investors on Monday, December 16th. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note to investors on Friday, November 29th. They now have a $40.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “positive” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note to investors on Tuesday, November 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Abbott Laboratories presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $38.71.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) traded up 1.63% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $39.27. The stock had a trading volume of 4,760,635 shares. Abbott Laboratories has a 1-year low of $32.55 and a 1-year high of $38.81. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $37.79 and a 200-day moving average of $35.98. The company has a market cap of $60.719 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.20.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 16th. The company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.46 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.30 earnings per share. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.01 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of a portfolio of science-based health care products.

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