Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, Abbott is trading below the broader Medical Products industry. While, sluggish pediatric business in China continues to hamper growth, we are also worried about the on-going economic problem in Venezuela that is expected to remain unresolved in the coming quarters. On a positive note, we are optimistic about its strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance in the last reported first quarter. Overall, the company stands to benefit from the ongoing integration and synergy achievement of St. Jude. We are also looking forward to the company’s plans to focus on selling portfolio in core therapeutic areas. Very recently, Abbott also received CE mark for its TactiCath Sensor and Confirm Rx ICM products which is quite encouraging.”

ABT has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Jefferies Group LLC lowered their price objective on Abbott Laboratories from $52.00 to $50.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 18th. BMO Capital Markets cut Abbott Laboratories from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $48.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, March 14th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc began coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $45.00 price objective for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.67.

Analyst Recommendations for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) opened at 43.68 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $75.80 billion, a PE ratio of 45.45 and a beta of 0.97. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $43.76 and a 200 day moving average price of $42.18. Abbott Laboratories has a 1-year low of $36.76 and a 1-year high of $45.84.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 19th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $6.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 15.74% and a net margin of 6.71%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 29.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Abbott Laboratories news, VP Robert E. Funck sold 25,500 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.50, for a total transaction of $1,160,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 117,579 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,349,844.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Roger Bird sold 5,600 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.82, for a total value of $245,392.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 51,313 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,248,535.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 39,151 shares of company stock valued at $1,765,029 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Meristem LLP raised its position in Abbott Laboratories by 9.5% in the third quarter. Meristem LLP now owns 12,313 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $521,000 after buying an additional 1,072 shares during the last quarter. Sabal Trust CO raised its position in Abbott Laboratories by 0.4% in the third quarter. Sabal Trust CO now owns 9,156 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $387,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its position in Abbott Laboratories by 30.1% in the third quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 2,138,006 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $90,416,000 after buying an additional 495,228 shares during the last quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT raised its position in Abbott Laboratories by 1.0% in the third quarter. Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc. CT now owns 452,689 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $19,144,000 after buying an additional 4,622 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pineno Levin & Ford Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Abbott Laboratories by 0.5% in the third quarter. Pineno Levin & Ford Asset Management Inc. now owns 87,438 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,698,000 after buying an additional 445 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 62.20% of the company’s stock.

About Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of healthcare products. The Company operates through four segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. Its Established Pharmaceutical Products include a range of branded generic pharmaceuticals manufactured around the world and marketed and sold outside the United States.

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