Welch Group LLC decreased its position in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 0.6% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 293,900 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,747 shares during the quarter. Novartis accounts for approximately 3.1% of Welch Group LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 13th largest position. Welch Group LLC’s holdings in Novartis were worth $28,256,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Novartis by 223.5% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,439,298 shares of the company’s stock worth $981,607,000 after acquiring an additional 7,902,964 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Novartis by 441.6% during the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,016,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $602,046,000 after acquiring an additional 5,720,650 shares during the period. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC increased its position in shares of Novartis by 7,454.1% during the third quarter. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC now owns 2,945,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,988,000 after acquiring an additional 2,906,190 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in shares of Novartis by 25.1% during the fourth quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 9,053,828 shares of the company’s stock worth $776,909,000 after acquiring an additional 1,817,005 shares during the period. Finally, Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its position in shares of Novartis by 53.4% during the fourth quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 4,764,486 shares of the company’s stock worth $408,841,000 after acquiring an additional 1,658,037 shares during the period. 11.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

NYSE:NVS traded up $0.72 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $80.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,560,493 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,216,946. The firm has a market capitalization of $189.12 billion, a PE ratio of 15.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.68. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 1.20 and a quick ratio of 0.97. Novartis AG has a 52-week low of $72.30 and a 52-week high of $96.31.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.09). The business had revenue of $13.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $13.33 billion. Novartis had a net margin of 24.30% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.21 EPS. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Novartis AG will post 5.1 EPS for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Bioventures Ltd Novartis sold 132,738 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $2.12, for a total value of $281,404.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders sold 810,493 shares of company stock worth $1,001,401 in the last three months. 0.01% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday. Morgan Stanley lowered Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and increased their target price for the company from $82.50 to $82.52 in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered Novartis to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Novartis has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $89.25.

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Novartis Profile

Novartis AG researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company's Innovative Medicines segment offers patented prescription medicines for patients and healthcare providers. It also provides ophthalmology, neuroscience, immunology, hepatology and dermatology, respiratory, cardio-metabolic, and established medicine products.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Novartis (NYSE:NVS)

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