Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $61.00 price target on the healthcare product maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.36% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Abbott exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both earnings and sales front in the third quarter. We are optimistic about the strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance. However, these were to some extent offset by sluggish Nutrition business. The company continues to benefit from the recently completed St. Jude Medical buyout. Meanwhile, Alere acquisition close is an upside too. Through 2017, Abbott is effectively focusing on core therapeutic areas. Recently, its FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, it has received approval for MR-conditional labeling for Ellipse ICD. Also, emerging market performance remains promising on several new strategic developments. Hence, in the past three months, Abbott is trading above the broader industry. On the flip side, sluggish pediatric nutrition business in some global markets continues to dent growth. Also the economic problems in Venezuela are expected to remain unresolved.”

ABT has been the topic of several other reports. Citigroup Inc. assumed coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $53.00 target price on the stock. Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. J P Morgan Chase & Co assumed coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Friday, October 6th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Abbott Laboratories currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.81.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE ABT) traded down 0.11% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $54.23. The company had a trading volume of 6,068,276 shares. Abbott Laboratories has a 52 week low of $37.38 and a 52 week high of $56.69. The company has a market capitalization of $94.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 75.95 and a beta of 1.06. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $53.88 and its 200 day moving average is $49.09.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $6.83 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.72 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 14.50% and a net margin of 8.37%. Abbott Laboratories’s quarterly revenue was up 28.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.50 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, insider Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 62,460 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.95, for a total value of $3,307,257.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 113,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,005,906.70. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 196,550 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total value of $9,729,225.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 221,488 shares in the company, valued at $10,963,656. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 408,313 shares of company stock worth $21,205,356 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dupont Capital Management Corp increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 1,633.7% in the third quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 191,415 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $10,214,000 after purchasing an additional 180,374 shares during the last quarter. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the third quarter worth about $323,000. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the third quarter worth about $201,000. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 12.4% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 853,132 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $45,523,000 after purchasing an additional 94,420 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Buffington Mohr McNeal increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.2% in the third quarter. Buffington Mohr McNeal now owns 72,055 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,990,000 after purchasing an additional 1,525 shares during the last quarter. 71.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

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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