Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX) was the target of a large decline in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 4,295,200 shares, a decline of 14.7% from the June 30th total of 5,038,100 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,300,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.9 days. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the company are sold short.
Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. Cowen set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Baxter International and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their target price on shares of Baxter International from $80.00 to $88.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 13th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised their target price on shares of Baxter International from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, June 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $95.00 target price on shares of Baxter International and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.27.
BAX stock traded up $0.09 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $85.93. The stock had a trading volume of 786,898 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,377,217. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 2.78 and a quick ratio of 2.10. Baxter International has a 52 week low of $61.05 and a 52 week high of $88.28. The stock has a market capitalization of $43.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.17, a P/E/G ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.00. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $83.41.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 29th. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 28.85%.
In other Baxter International news, Director John D. Forsyth sold 1,320 shares of Baxter International stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.21, for a total value of $103,237.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 32,779 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,563,645.59. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Jacqueline Kunzler sold 593 shares of Baxter International stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.46, for a total transaction of $47,712.78. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 9,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $725,990.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BAX. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 18,207.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 4,229,457 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $346,392,000 after purchasing an additional 4,206,355 shares during the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec grew its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 43.4% during the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 6,430,469 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $526,655,000 after purchasing an additional 1,945,800 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 42.7% during the 1st quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 5,222,634 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $424,651,000 after purchasing an additional 1,562,529 shares during the last quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. grew its holdings in Baxter International by 114.0% during the 1st quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 2,622,591 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $213,243,000 after acquiring an additional 1,396,850 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Baxter International by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 40,028,474 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $3,254,714,000 after acquiring an additional 1,259,763 shares during the last quarter. 83.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About Baxter International
Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, develops and provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. The company offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.
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