Country Trust Bank lessened its holdings in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 11.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 359,763 shares of the company’s stock after selling 46,913 shares during the period. Novartis accounts for approximately 1.5% of Country Trust Bank’s portfolio, making the stock its 19th largest holding. Country Trust Bank’s holdings in Novartis were worth $34,588,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Executive Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Novartis in the fourth quarter worth about $36,000. Wambolt & Associates LLC boosted its position in Novartis by 8.0% during the 1st quarter. Wambolt & Associates LLC now owns 8,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $689,000 after acquiring an additional 609 shares in the last quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC boosted its position in Novartis by 12.2% during the 4th quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC now owns 13,682 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,174,000 after acquiring an additional 1,485 shares in the last quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. boosted its position in Novartis by 17.0% during the 4th quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. now owns 29,463 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,528,000 after acquiring an additional 4,278 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SlateStone Wealth LLC bought a new stake in Novartis during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,382,000. Institutional investors own 11.68% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have weighed in on NVS. Zacks Investment Research cut Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. Morgan Stanley cut Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $82.50 to $82.52 in a research report on Wednesday, April 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Novartis in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group cut Novartis to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 20th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $89.25.

NVS traded down $1.25 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $78.09. 68,806 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,900,327. The firm has a market cap of $182.41 billion, a PE ratio of 15.33, a P/E/G ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.68. The company has a current ratio of 1.20, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29. Novartis AG has a 52-week low of $72.30 and a 52-week high of $96.31.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by ($0.09). Novartis had a net margin of 24.30% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The business had revenue of $13.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $13.33 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.21 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Novartis AG will post 5.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, major shareholder Bioventures Ltd Novartis sold 24,661 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1.02, for a total transaction of $25,154.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In the last three months, insiders have sold 870,195 shares of company stock valued at $1,062,051. Insiders own 0.01% of the company’s stock.

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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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