Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Novartis’ third-quarter 2016 results were mixed with the company beating earnings estimates but missing on revenues. The company is facing challenging business conditions due to generic competition and weakness in the Alcon business. Generic competition for Gleevec, Exelon Patch,  Diovan and Exforge; increased spending related to the ongoing launches of Entresto and Cosentyx; the restructuring plan for Alcon; and unfavorable currency fluctuations will continue to dampen the company’s performance in the upcoming quarters. Nevertheless, the company enjoys a strong presence in the oncology market with drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi and Zykadia.  We are also impressed by the company’s efforts to strengthen its biosimilars portfolio. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Sunday, October 16th. Chardan Capital decreased their price target on shares of Novartis AG from $95.00 to $92.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Argus raised shares of Novartis AG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 10th. Finally, Societe Generale reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $88.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

Shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) opened at 68.76 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $72.53 and a 200 day moving average of $78.37. Novartis AG has a 52-week low of $67.28 and a 52-week high of $88.49. The firm has a market cap of $163.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.25 and a beta of 0.71.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.04. The company earned $12.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.24 billion. Novartis AG had a net margin of 13.98% and a return on equity of 15.25%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.27 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Novartis AG will post $4.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC increased its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 6.3% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 1,240 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Whitnell & Co. increased its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 14.6% in the second quarter. Whitnell & Co. now owns 1,410 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 180 shares in the last quarter. Iowa State Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Novartis AG during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. M&R Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Novartis AG during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. Finally, WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 8.9% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,624 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 133 shares in the last quarter. 9.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Novartis AG Company Profile

Novartis AG is a holding company. The Company specializes in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals, including eye care products. Its portfolio includes medicines, eye care and generic pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Pharmaceuticals, Alcon and Sandoz.

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