Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $47.00 target price on the healthcare product maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 12.76% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Abbott has been reshaping its portfolio through strategic acquisitions/divestitures for long term growth. In order to focus on its key areas – cardiovascular devices and diagnostics – Abbott has inked a deal to divest its vision care business, Medical Optics, to J&J. Moreover, the Alere acquisition should boost the company’s diagnostics business, while the St. Jude Medical buyout will complement its cardiovascular devices business and strengthen its long-term growth potential. Realignment of the EPD division through acquisitions in Latin America and Russia, along with business divestitures in developed markets, has positioned the company advantageously for the coming quarters. However, headwinds in the form of currency movements and weakness in the nutrition business in China continue to be a matter of concern.”

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on ABT. Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, June 18th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Jefferies Group upped their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. BTIG Research restated a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Monday. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Abbott Laboratories presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.02.

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Shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) opened at 41.68 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $43.36 and a 200 day moving average of $41.15. The firm has a market cap of $61.27 billion, a PE ratio of 27.51 and a beta of 0.82. Abbott Laboratories has a 52 week low of $36.00 and a 52 week high of $46.38.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 11.08% and a return on equity of 15.11%. The firm had revenue of $5.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.52 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th will be given a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.50%. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is currently 68.87%.

In related news, Chairman Miles D. White purchased 242,547 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 25th. The stock was bought at an average price of $43.18 per share, for a total transaction of $10,473,179.46. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,010,517 shares in the company, valued at $86,814,124.06. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 41,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total transaction of $1,867,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 196,467 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,841,015. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Parasol Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 30.5% in the second quarter. Parasol Investment Management LLC now owns 2,570 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC raised its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 9.3% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,685 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 229 shares in the last quarter. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 10.6% in the second quarter. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,875 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 275 shares in the last quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 15.2% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,038 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Perceptive Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter worth $120,000. Institutional investors own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories (Abbott) is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a line of healthcare products. The Company operates in four business segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. The Established Pharmaceutical Products segment includes the international sales of a line of branded generic pharmaceutical products.

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