Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $351.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of the company returned higher than the broader industry in the last twelve months.  Looking forward C. R. Bard is expected to benefit from the impending merger with Becton, Dickinson and Company, especially in the areas of medication management and infection prevention. The $24 billion transaction is expected to close by fall 2017. We believe the latest development will provide benefits to the combined entity and bolster its foothold in the global medical devices market. Further the company has gained prominence in the market with an expanding product portfolio and continuing regulatory approvals. The growing adoption of Lutonix DCB is also expected to drive top-line growth in the coming quarters. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of C.R. Bard from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $245.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of C.R. Bard from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Cowen and Company increased their price target on shares of C.R. Bard from $240.00 to $317.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Jefferies Group LLC increased their price target on shares of C.R. Bard from $237.00 to $317.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a market perform rating and set a $265.00 price target on shares of C.R. Bard in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $265.62.

Analyst Recommendations for C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR)

C.R. Bard (NYSE BCR) opened at 313.56 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.71 billion, a PE ratio of 39.91 and a beta of 0.64. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $309.48 and a 200 day moving average of $257.26. C.R. Bard has a one year low of $203.63 and a one year high of $315.29.

C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Sunday, April 23rd. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.87 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.65 by $0.22. The business had revenue of $938.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $916.15 million. C.R. Bard had a net margin of 15.70% and a return on equity of 48.72%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.34 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that C.R. Bard will post $11.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 4th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 24th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.33%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 20th. C.R. Bard’s dividend payout ratio is currently 13.21%.

In other C.R. Bard news, VP Frank Lupisella, Jr. sold 3,622 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $304.00, for a total value of $1,101,088.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 10,139 shares in the company, valued at $3,082,256. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of BCR. Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of C.R. Bard by 0.7% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 4,298 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $1,068,000 after buying an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in shares of C.R. Bard by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 267,451 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $60,087,000 after buying an additional 9,134 shares in the last quarter. Fundsmith LLP boosted its stake in shares of C.R. Bard by 2.1% in the first quarter. Fundsmith LLP now owns 2,553,141 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $633,996,000 after buying an additional 52,272 shares in the last quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of C.R. Bard by 14.3% in the first quarter. Granite Investment Advisors LLC now owns 33,276 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $8,270,000 after buying an additional 4,159 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of C.R. Bard by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,703,576 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $832,035,000 after buying an additional 176,151 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.32% of the company’s stock.

About C.R. Bard

C. R. Bard, Inc (Bard) is engaged in designing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and sale of medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices. The Company operates through the manufacture and sale of medical devices segment. It sells a range of products to hospitals, individual healthcare professionals, extended care facilities and alternate site facilities on a global basis.

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