Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, Abbott has been outperforming its industry. We are upbeat about the strength across all its segments in the last reported quarter.  Within Structural Heart, worldwide strong uptake of MitraClip therapy improves further following the recent FDA approval of its next-generation version. This apart, synergies from Alere consolidation in the form of revenues from Rapid Diagnostics have been driving growth. Meanwhile, emerging market performance has been extremely promising. The company has been hogging the limelight within Diabetic Care on progress with its FreeStyle Libre. Abbott’s branded generics model is also expected to further intensify its EPD arm in key emerging countries. On the flip side, sluggish Vascular business continues to dent growth. However, the FDA approval for XIENCE Sierra coronary stent system as well as a reimbursement approval in Japan should help Abbott to revive the dull Vascular business.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on ABT. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $71.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. They issued an outperform rating and a $73.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Abbott Laboratories currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $70.18.

Abbott Laboratories stock opened at $69.05 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.58. The firm has a market cap of $120.68 billion, a PE ratio of 27.62, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.48. Abbott Laboratories has a fifty-two week low of $51.50 and a fifty-two week high of $69.25.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 18th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $7.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.71 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 3.13% and a return on equity of 15.30%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 17.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.62 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.88 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, October 15th will be given a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.62%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 12th. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is 44.80%.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, insider Sharon J. Bracken sold 615 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.16, for a total value of $40,073.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 40,761 shares in the company, valued at $2,655,986.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Jaime Contreras sold 64,268 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.84, for a total transaction of $4,295,673.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 125,471 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,386,481.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 148,589 shares of company stock worth $9,998,590 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. City Holding Co. increased its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 1.6% in the second quarter. City Holding Co. now owns 50,654 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $3,089,000 after acquiring an additional 782 shares during the period. Moody National Bank Trust Division boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 7.3% during the 2nd quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division now owns 11,757 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $717,000 after purchasing an additional 795 shares in the last quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 19,760 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $1,205,000 after purchasing an additional 796 shares in the last quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 7.4% during the 2nd quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 11,538 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $704,000 after purchasing an additional 796 shares in the last quarter. Finally, North Star Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. North Star Asset Management Inc. now owns 275,593 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $16,808,000 after purchasing an additional 828 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.13% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide. The company's Established Pharmaceutical Products segment offers branded generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; irritable bowel syndrome or biliary spasm; intrahepatic cholestasis or depressive symptoms; gynecological disorders; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraines; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccine and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

Featured Story: Outstanding Shares, Buying and Selling Stocks

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

Receive News & Ratings for Abbott Laboratories Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Abbott Laboratories and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.