Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Short Interest Up 36.6% in January

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,229,656 shares, a growth of 36.6% from the January 12th total of 9,685,399 shares. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 8,362,357 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.6 days.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE ABT) opened at $57.41 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $99,930.00, a P/E ratio of 287.05, a P/E/G ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.55. Abbott Laboratories has a fifty-two week low of $42.31 and a fifty-two week high of $64.60. The company has a quick ratio of 2.26, a current ratio of 2.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 24th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.01. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 1.74% and a return on equity of 13.80%. The company had revenue of $7.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.38 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.65 EPS. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue for the quarter was up 42.3% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 12th will be paid a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 11th. This is a boost from Abbott Laboratories’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.95%. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio is currently 560.00%.

In other news, EVP Stephen R. Fussell sold 13,313 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.84, for a total transaction of $836,588.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 152,343 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,573,234.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Miles D. White sold 276,886 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.41, for a total transaction of $15,065,367.26. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,677,913 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $200,115,246.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 374,458 shares of company stock valued at $20,752,706 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ABT. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 34,432 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,674,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. United Bank lifted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 10.8% in the 2nd quarter. United Bank now owns 29,366 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,427,000 after purchasing an additional 2,871 shares in the last quarter. St. Louis Trust Co lifted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. St. Louis Trust Co now owns 4,904 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $238,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Telemus Capital LLC lifted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Telemus Capital LLC now owns 29,317 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,425,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Eagle Ridge Investment Management lifted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. Eagle Ridge Investment Management now owns 197,488 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $8,849,000 after purchasing an additional 9,760 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.61% of the company’s stock.

ABT has been the subject of a number of research reports. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Monday, January 8th. BTIG Research downgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $58.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.47.

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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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