Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
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 Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Abbott has been reshaping its portfolio through strategic acquisitions/divestitures for long term growth. In order to focus on its key areas – cardiovascular devices and diagnostics – Abbott has inked a deal to divest its vision care business, Medical Optics, to J&J. Moreover, the Alere acquisition should boost the company’s diagnostics business, while the St. Jude Medical buyout will complement its cardiovascular devices business and strengthen its long-term growth potential. Realignment of the EPD division through acquisitions in Latin America and Russia, along with business divestitures in developed markets, has positioned the company advantageously for the coming quarters. However, headwinds in the form of currency movements and weakness in the nutrition business in China continue to be a matter of concern.”
Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. TheStreet raised Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Friday, August 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Monday, September 19th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Abbott Laboratories currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $47.02.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) traded down 1.27% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $42.01. The company had a trading volume of 3,114,223 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $42.51 and a 200 day moving average price of $41.32. Abbott Laboratories has a 12-month low of $36.00 and a 12-month high of $46.38. The company has a market capitalization of $61.75 billion, a PE ratio of 27.73 and a beta of 0.87.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 15.11% and a net margin of 11.08%. The company had revenue of $5.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.24 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.52 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th will be given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.44%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is 68.87%.
In related news, Chairman Miles D. White acquired 242,547 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $43.18 per share, with a total value of $10,473,179.46. Following the acquisition, the chairman now owns 2,010,517 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $86,814,124.06. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 41,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $1,867,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 196,467 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,841,015. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.26% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Ronna Sue Cohen raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 16.7% in the first quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 85,613 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,581,000 after buying an additional 12,273 shares in the last quarter. City Holding Co. raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.6% in the first quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 35,019 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,464,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Rosenbaum Jay D. raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 6.1% in the first quarter. Rosenbaum Jay D. now owns 37,005 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,548,000 after buying an additional 2,130 shares in the last quarter. Moreno Evelyn V raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 3.7% in the first quarter. Moreno Evelyn V now owns 79,780 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,338,000 after buying an additional 2,855 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.4% in the first quarter. Stokes & Hubbell Capital Management LLC now owns 43,503 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,820,000 after buying an additional 1,004 shares in the last quarter. 73.03% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories (Abbott) is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a line of healthcare products. The Company operates in four business segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. The Established Pharmaceutical Products segment includes the international sales of a line of branded generic pharmaceutical products.
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