Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 72,079,358 shares, a growth of 6.4% from the September 15th total of 67,739,636 shares. Currently, 4.9% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 7,111,021 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 10.1 days.

ABT has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Friday, August 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 4th. Edward Jones raised shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $49.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, BTIG Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.02.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) opened at 40.79 on Monday. Abbott Laboratories has a 1-year low of $36.00 and a 1-year high of $46.38. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.96 and a 200-day moving average of $41.39. The company has a market capitalization of $59.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.92 and a beta of 0.87.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.30 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.24 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 11.08% and a return on equity of 15.11%. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.52 EPS. Equities analysts expect that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 14th will be issued a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.55%. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio is currently 68.87%.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, Chairman Miles D. White bought 242,547 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 25th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $43.18 per share, with a total value of $10,473,179.46. Following the acquisition, the chairman now directly owns 2,010,517 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $86,814,124.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 815 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.71, for a total transaction of $33,993.65. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 59,791 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,493,882.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.26% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Parasol Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 30.5% in the second quarter. Parasol Investment Management LLC now owns 2,570 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 600 shares in the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 9.3% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,685 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 229 shares during the period. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 10.6% in the second quarter. SeaBridge Investment Advisors LLC now owns 2,875 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 275 shares during the period. Perceptive Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter worth $120,000. Finally, CapWealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 15.2% in the first quarter. CapWealth Advisors LLC now owns 3,038 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.03% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

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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