Citigroup Inc. started coverage on shares of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage issued a neutral rating and a $63.00 price objective on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on BAX. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Baxter International from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $70.00 target price on Baxter International and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets raised Baxter International from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and increased their price objective for the company from $55.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a conviction-buy rating and issued a $71.00 price objective on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Finally, UBS AG increased their price objective on Baxter International from $57.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $65.15.

Baxter International (BAX) opened at 60.87 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $60.89 and its 200-day moving average is $55.87. Baxter International has a 52-week low of $43.13 and a 52-week high of $63.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $33.17 billion, a PE ratio of 36.94 and a beta of 0.66.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $2.61 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.59 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 14.82% and a net margin of 8.85%. The company’s revenue was up .8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.46 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Baxter International will post $2.39 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, September 1st will be given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.79%.

In related news, SVP Giuseppe Accogli sold 12,670 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.96, for a total value of $772,363.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 33,286 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,029,114.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Carole J. Shapazian sold 2,618 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.92, for a total value of $151,634.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,848 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $570,396.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BAX. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Baxter International by 0.3% in the first quarter. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC now owns 12,786 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $663,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Baxter International by 0.5% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 10,261 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $621,000 after buying an additional 52 shares during the period. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management boosted its position in shares of Baxter International by 0.3% in the first quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 18,079 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $938,000 after buying an additional 54 shares during the period. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware boosted its position in shares of Baxter International by 1.1% in the first quarter. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware now owns 5,743 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $298,000 after buying an additional 63 shares during the period. Finally, Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC boosted its position in shares of Baxter International by 0.4% in the first quarter. Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC now owns 15,204 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $788,000 after buying an additional 67 shares during the period. 84.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides renal and hospital products. The Company operates through two segments: Hospital Products and Renal. Its Hospital Products business manufactures sterile intravenous (IV) solutions and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, IV nutrition products, parenteral nutrition therapies, infusion pumps, inhalation anesthetics and biosurgery products.

Analyst Recommendations for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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