Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $47.00 price objective on the healthcare product maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 12.76% from the stock’s current price.
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.”
Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Saturday, June 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Monday. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Monday. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Abbott Laboratories to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently 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. Abbott Laboratories has a one year low of $36.00 and a one year high of $46.38. 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 capitalization of $61.27 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.51 and a beta of 0.82.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 15.11% and a net margin of 11.08%. The firm earned $5.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.24 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.52 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.50%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 68.87%.
In other Abbott Laboratories news, EVP Hubert L. Allen sold 3,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.14, for a total transaction of $126,276.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 91,857 shares in the company, valued at $3,411,568.98. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 41,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $1,867,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 196,467 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,841,015. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Eqis Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 13.5% in the first quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 33,486 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,401,000 after buying an additional 3,988 shares during the period. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC boosted its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 25.1% in the first quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 153,187 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $6,408,000 after buying an additional 30,737 shares during the period. DnB Asset Management AS boosted its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 36.8% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 470,976 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $19,701,000 after buying an additional 126,600 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co bought a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the first quarter worth about $7,049,000. Finally, Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 16.0% in the first quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 341,916 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $14,302,000 after buying an additional 47,052 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.12% of the company’s stock.
About Abbott Laboratories
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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