Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio of drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu, and the recently approved Kisqali. The recent approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a major boost for Novartis given the potential in the CAR T therapy space.Growth drivers like Cosentyx and Entresto, more than offset the impact of generic erosion, mainly due to Glivec. Cosentyx hit blockbuster status in 2016. Earlier, Novartis announced that it is mulling strategic options for its lagging eye-care unit Alcon which includes retaining the business, or a separation via capital market transactions such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company will elaborate on its plans for Alcon by end of the year. We are also impressed by the progress in the biosimilars portfolio as the company is on track to launch five more biosimilars by 2020. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry so far in 2017.”

NVS has been the subject of a number of other reports. Leerink Swann restated a “market perform” rating and set a $83.00 price target on shares of Novartis AG in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Novartis AG from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Credit Suisse Group AG cut shares of Novartis AG from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $82.25 price target for the company. in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Cowen and Company set a $77.00 price target on shares of Novartis AG and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Novartis AG from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.12.

Shares of Novartis AG (NYSE NVS) traded up 0.21% on Friday, hitting $85.82. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 461,710 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $201.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.33 and a beta of 0.73. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $84.76 and its 200 day moving average price is $81.32. Novartis AG has a 52 week low of $66.93 and a 52 week high of $86.90.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The company reported $1.22 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $12.24 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.20 billion. Novartis AG had a net margin of 13.52% and a return on equity of 15.51%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.23 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Novartis AG will post $4.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NVS. Dodge & Cox bought a new stake in shares of Novartis AG in the fourth quarter valued at about $3,330,137,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new stake in shares of Novartis AG in the third quarter valued at about $304,776,000. Parnassus Investments CA lifted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 89.4% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 8,173,974 shares of the company’s stock valued at $593,720,000 after buying an additional 3,858,632 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Novartis AG in the first quarter valued at about $210,378,000. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 22.4% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 11,998,737 shares of the company’s stock valued at $869,189,000 after buying an additional 2,195,618 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 10.93% of the company’s stock.

Novartis AG Company Profile

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

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