Principal Financial Group Inc. cut its position in shares of ABAXIS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 178,700 shares of the medical research company’s stock after selling 1,188 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.79% of ABAXIS worth $7,979,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABAX. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its stake in ABAXIS by 5.8% during the second quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,132,117 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $166,065,000 after buying an additional 171,541 shares during the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management purchased a new position in ABAXIS during the second quarter valued at $2,257,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in ABAXIS by 23.6% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 110,781 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $5,873,000 after buying an additional 21,155 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in ABAXIS by 97.5% during the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 35,430 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,718,000 after buying an additional 17,487 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in ABAXIS by 0.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,963,755 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $104,119,000 after buying an additional 16,676 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.51% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on ABAX. Zacks Investment Research cut ABAXIS from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target (up previously from $46.00) on shares of ABAXIS in a research note on Friday, October 27th. TheStreet upgraded ABAXIS from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. Finally, Bank of America restated an “underperform” rating and issued a $42.00 price target on shares of ABAXIS in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.63.

ABAXIS, Inc. (ABAX) opened at $48.23 on Thursday. ABAXIS, Inc. has a one year low of $43.66 and a one year high of $55.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,078.11, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.58 and a beta of 0.86.

ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $58.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $60.85 million. ABAXIS had a return on equity of 10.18% and a net margin of 11.98%. The company’s revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.34 earnings per share. analysts forecast that ABAXIS, Inc. will post 1.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. This is a boost from ABAXIS’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. ABAXIS’s dividend payout ratio is 53.33%.

ABAXIS announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 24th that permits the company to buyback $21.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical research company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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ABAXIS Company Profile

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX)

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