Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $102.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “AbbVie’s key drug Humira has been performing well and should continue to do well. Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential and AbbVie is exploring the possibility of label expansion into solid tumors and autoimmune diseases. Meanwhile, AbbVie has promising pipeline with several pivotal data readouts and regulatory milestones due in the second half. Maviret, approved recently, has the potential to rejuvenate AbbVie’s struggling HCV franchise. AbbVie’s shares have outperformed the industry this year so far. However, though Humira is doing well, the company is concerned about the product’s long-term growth prospects, given the potential biosimilar competition. Viekira also faces intense pricing and competitive pressure in the HCV market. Estimates have gone up slightly ahead of the company’s Q3 earnings release. AbbVie has had a mixed record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $94.00 price objective (up previously from $92.00) on shares of AbbVie in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Vetr raised shares of AbbVie from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $74.86 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Societe Generale raised shares of AbbVie from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. BidaskClub cut shares of AbbVie from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $85.00 price objective on shares of AbbVie in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $92.79.

Shares of AbbVie (ABBV) opened at 96.10 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $153.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.64 and a beta of 1.51. AbbVie has a one year low of $55.06 and a one year high of $98.26. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $88.06 and a 200 day moving average of $73.89.

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $1.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $6.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.93 billion. AbbVie had a net margin of 24.77% and a return on equity of 150.27%. The business’s revenue was up 7.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.26 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that AbbVie will post $5.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 13th will be given a $0.64 dividend. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 12th. AbbVie’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 62.90%.

In related news, Director Edward J. Rapp purchased 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $70.45 per share, for a total transaction of $281,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 15,498 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,091,834.10. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Robert A. Michael sold 6,699 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.00, for a total transaction of $589,512.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 10,007 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $880,616. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 379,890 shares of company stock worth $27,187,817. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 1.2% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 178,274,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,926,708,000 after purchasing an additional 2,130,919 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 3.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 115,920,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,405,409,000 after purchasing an additional 3,706,941 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 2.0% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 94,074,962 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,821,375,000 after purchasing an additional 1,864,418 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 2.4% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 72,969,530 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,754,696,000 after purchasing an additional 1,696,042 shares during the period. Finally, Orbis Allan Gray Ltd boosted its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 35.7% during the second quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd now owns 12,704,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $921,233,000 after purchasing an additional 3,340,038 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.25% of the company’s stock.

AbbVie Company Profile

AbbVie Inc (AbbVie) is a research-based biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of pharmaceutical products. Its products are focused on treating conditions, such as chronic autoimmune diseases in rheumatology, gastroenterology and dermatology; oncology, including blood cancers; virology, including hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis; metabolic diseases, including thyroid disease and complications associated with cystic fibrosis, and other serious health conditions.

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