Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “We believe Baxter is gaining prominence with a series of strategic developments that include the recent launch of NUMETA G13E in Europe for vulnerable preterm newborns. Also the strategic tie-up with Satellite Healthcare and the Sigma spectrum infusion system keeps us bullish about the company. However, intense competition in the medical products segment and unimpressive hospital spending environment are major concerns. Moreover, lower cyclophosphamide sales poise threats to the Integrated Pharmacy Solutions franchise business of Baxter, as sales in this segment is expected to drop by low-single digits for the full-year 2016.”

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on BAX. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an overweight rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a report on Monday, June 13th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a buy rating on shares of Baxter International in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a hold rating and set a $45.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a report on Friday, July 8th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their target price on Baxter International from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated a hold rating and set a $50.00 target price (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Baxter International in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $48.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) traded down 0.27% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $48.09. 1,515,219 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.52 and a beta of 0.71. Baxter International has a 12-month low of $32.92 and a 12-month high of $49.49. The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.06 and its 200-day moving average is $45.30.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.06. The firm earned $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.51 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 10.70% and a net margin of 47.74%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.00 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Baxter International will post $1.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.08%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 5.99%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in Baxter International by 6.6% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,530,764 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,102,000 after buying an additional 343,725 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 1.9% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,375,204 shares of the company’s stock worth $179,363,000 after buying an additional 82,132 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 1.0% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,966,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $179,366,000 after buying an additional 39,887 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 753.5% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,281,030 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,148,000 after buying an additional 2,013,786 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 39.5% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 2,059,667 shares of the company’s stock worth $93,138,000 after buying an additional 583,144 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 84.79% of the company’s stock.

Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides a portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics, and pharmacy automation, software and services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BAX

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