Abaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $50.73, but opened at $50.75. Abaxis shares last traded at $51.93, with a volume of 64,449 shares traded.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on ABAX. Zacks Investment Research raised Abaxis from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 4th. TheStreet raised Abaxis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 9th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $39.00 target price on shares of Abaxis in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, Feltl & Co. lowered Abaxis from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Abaxis currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.30.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $49.48 and its 200-day moving average price is $46.79. The company has a market capitalization of $1.16 billion, a PE ratio of 37.44 and a beta of 1.02.

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Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.02. Abaxis had a net margin of 14.10% and a return on equity of 13.03%. The company earned $57.70 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $58.70 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 EPS. Analysts predict that Abaxis Inc. will post $1.36 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were given a $0.12 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.93%. Abaxis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.78%.

In other Abaxis news, Director Prithipal Singh sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.30, for a total value of $75,450.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 43,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,188,050. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Clinton Severson sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.29, for a total value of $96,580.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 574,691 shares in the company, valued at approximately $27,751,828.39. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Abaxis during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $22,735,000. Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its stake in shares of Abaxis by 636.0% in the first quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 6,153 shares of the company’s stock valued at $278,000 after buying an additional 5,317 shares during the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in shares of Abaxis by 7.1% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 16,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $758,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in shares of Abaxis by 32.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 40,055 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,819,000 after buying an additional 9,904 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Abaxis by 3.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 571,945 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,961,000 after buying an additional 21,550 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.03% of the company’s stock.

About Abaxis

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:ABAX

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