Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Sanofi’s Diabetes franchise is under significant pressure with key product, Lantus facing increasing competitive pressure at the payor level and the presence of biosimilar competition in several European markets and Japan. Sanofi’s outlook for its Diabetes franchise is also bleak due to a tough U.S. payer environment. At the Q2 conference call, management warned that US diabetes sales will decline faster in the second half. Other headwinds include generic competition and slower-than-expected uptake of new products like Praluent. Sanofi’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past three months. However, Sanofi's focus on streamlining its business and pursuing business development deals is encouraging. Further, new drugs like Aubagio and Lemtrada are likely to continue doing well. Estimates have remained stable ahead of Q3 earnings release. Sanofi has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Sanofi in a report on Friday, September 1st. HSBC Holdings plc raised shares of Sanofi from a “reduce” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. BidaskClub raised shares of Sanofi from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Sanofi in a report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $52.00 price objective (up from $46.00) on shares of Sanofi in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Sanofi currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.50.

Shares of Sanofi (NYSE SNY) opened at 50.61 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $49.10 and its 200 day moving average is $47.92. Sanofi has a 12 month low of $36.81 and a 12 month high of $50.65. The company has a market capitalization of $127.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.75 and a beta of 0.87.

Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 31st. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74. Sanofi had a net margin of 25.89% and a return on equity of 25.34%. The business had revenue of $8.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.71 billion. Sanofi’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Sanofi will post $3.33 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, major shareholder Sanofi bought 105,820 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $482.04 per share, for a total transaction of $51,009,472.80. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Sanofi by 8.1% during the 2nd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 13,638,458 shares of the company’s stock valued at $653,419,000 after acquiring an additional 1,022,953 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in shares of Sanofi by 8.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,531,334 shares of the company’s stock valued at $340,792,000 after acquiring an additional 572,652 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Sanofi by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,374,385 shares of the company’s stock valued at $257,487,000 after acquiring an additional 155,751 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sanofi by 47.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,235,422 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,100,000 after acquiring an additional 720,523 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of Sanofi by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,474,261 shares of the company’s stock valued at $70,632,000 after acquiring an additional 13,981 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 9.33% of the company’s stock.

Sanofi Company Profile

Sanofi is a healthcare company, focused on patient needs and engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of therapeutic solutions. The Company’s segments are Pharmaceuticals, Human Vaccines (Vaccines), and Other. The Pharmaceuticals segment comprises the commercial operations of various franchises, including Speciality Care (Rare Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, and Oncology), Diabetes and Cardiovascular, Established Prescription Products, Consumer Healthcare and Generics, and research and development, production and marketing activities for all of the Company’s pharmaceuticals operations.

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