The Advisory Board Co. (NASDAQ:ABCO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “The Advisory Board Company provides best practices research and analysis to the health care industry, focusing on business strategy, operations and general management issues. The Company provides its best practices research and analysis through discrete annual programs to a membership of more than 2,000 hospitals, health systems, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, health care insurers, and medical device companies in the United States. Each program provides members with best practices research reports, executive education and other supporting research services. “

Several other research firms also recently commented on ABCO. Craig Hallum upgraded shares of The Advisory Board from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $47.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. set a $45.00 target price on shares of The Advisory Board and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. FBR & Co boosted their target price on shares of The Advisory Board from $35.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “mkt perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of The Advisory Board in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on shares of The Advisory Board in a research note on Monday, June 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $40.00 target price for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $44.07.

Analyst Recommendations for The Advisory Board (NASDAQ:ABCO)

The Advisory Board (NASDAQ:ABCO) opened at 43.52 on Monday. The stock’s market cap is $1.75 billion. The Advisory Board has a 52 week low of $18.87 and a 52 week high of $54.84. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $43.24 and a 200-day moving average price of $37.57.

The Advisory Board (NASDAQ:ABCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.34 by $0.13. The business earned $198.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $196.49 million. The Advisory Board had a negative net margin of 10.21% and a positive return on equity of 11.59%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.40 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that The Advisory Board will post $1.86 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Leanne M. Zumwalt sold 2,736 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.70, for a total transaction of $114,091.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Cormac F. Miller sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.15, for a total transaction of $32,362.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 18,237 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $786,926.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Stoneridge Investment Partners LLC purchased a new position in The Advisory Board during the second quarter valued at about $2,287,000. AXA boosted its position in The Advisory Board by 28.5% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 27,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $891,000 after buying an additional 6,129 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in The Advisory Board by 6.0% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,252,911 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,406,000 after buying an additional 70,769 shares in the last quarter. Princeton Alpha Management LP purchased a new position in The Advisory Board during the second quarter valued at about $236,000. Finally, Douglas Lane & Associates LLC boosted its position in The Advisory Board by 31.6% in the second quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC now owns 683,294 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,182,000 after buying an additional 164,025 shares in the last quarter.

About The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board Company is a provider of software and solutions to the healthcare and higher education industries. The Company’s healthcare programs address a range of clinical and business issues, including physician alignment and engagement, network management and growth strategy, value-based care and population health, revenue cycle, clinical operations and supply chain.

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