Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $53.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.81% from the stock’s current price.

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, the strategic tie-up with Satellite Healthcare and the recognition of its Sigma spectrum infusion system as a highly efficient infusion pump in drug library compliance (analysis by KLAS research firm). We believe the launch of AMIA APD system with the SHARESOURCE Connectivity in Canada will expand the company’s international footprint. However, intense competition in the medical products segment and lackluster hospital spending are major concerns. Meanwhile, a glimpse on the estimate trends reveals that estimates are stable for the current year, before the company’s earnings release of third-quarter of fiscal 2016.”

BAX has been the subject of several other reports. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Monday, August 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Wells Fargo & Co. began coverage on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Thursday. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Baxter International from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Thursday, September 15th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.17.

Analyst Recommendations for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) opened at 46.98 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $25.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.39 and a beta of 0.71. Baxter International has a one year low of $32.96 and a one year high of $49.49. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $47.02 and a 200-day moving average of $45.51.

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

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.11%. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 5.99%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A increased its stake in Baxter International by 4.1% in the second quarter. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its stake in Baxter International by 1.9% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 4,333 shares of the company’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 81 shares in the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in Baxter International by 0.5% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 18,075 shares of the company’s stock valued at $817,000 after buying an additional 95 shares in the last quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. increased its stake in Baxter International by 1.0% in the second quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 12,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $567,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Trust Co. NA increased its stake in Baxter International by 0.5% in the second quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 29,036 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,312,000 after buying an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 84.81% of the company’s stock.

About Baxter International

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.

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