Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio of drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu, and the recently approved Kisqali. The recent approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a major boost for Novartis given the potential in the CAR T therapy space.Growth drivers like Cosentyx and Entresto, more than offset the impact of generic erosion, mainly due to Glivec. Cosentyx hit blockbuster status in 2016. Earlier, Novartis announced that it is mulling strategic options for its lagging eye-care unit Alcon which includes retaining the business, or a separation via capital market transactions such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company will elaborate on its plans for Alcon by end of the year. We are also impressed by the progress in the biosimilars portfolio as the company is on track to launch five more biosimilars by 2020. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry so far in 2017.”

A number of other brokerages have also commented on NVS. Leerink Swann reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $83.00 price target on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Novartis AG from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 5th. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Novartis AG from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $90.00 price target on shares of Novartis AG and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $85.12.

Shares of Novartis AG (NVS) traded up 0.21% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $85.82. The stock had a trading volume of 461,810 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $201.07 billion, a PE ratio of 31.33 and a beta of 0.73. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $84.76 and its 200-day moving average price is $81.32. Novartis AG has a 1-year low of $66.93 and a 1-year high of $86.90.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.06. Novartis AG had a net margin of 13.52% and a return on equity of 15.51%. The company had revenue of $12.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.20 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.23 EPS. Novartis AG’s quarterly revenue was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Novartis AG will post $4.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. City Holding Co. grew its position in shares of Novartis AG by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 1,217 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 54 shares in the last quarter. WFG Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Novartis AG by 38.1% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,221 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 337 shares in the last quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC grew its position in shares of Novartis AG by 72.3% during the 1st quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 1,480 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 621 shares in the last quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC grew its position in shares of Novartis AG by 3.4% during the 1st quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 1,488 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Massey Quick & Co. LLC acquired a new position in shares of Novartis AG during the 1st quarter worth approximately $119,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 10.93% of the company’s stock.

About Novartis AG

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

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