Murphy Capital Management Inc. Reduces Position in Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

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Murphy Capital Management Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) by 3.8% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 22,349 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock after selling 876 shares during the quarter. Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Abbott Laboratories were worth $1,869,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in ABT. Roanoke Asset Management Corp NY increased its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 0.9% during the first quarter. Roanoke Asset Management Corp NY now owns 57,080 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $4,563,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC increased its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 29.0% in the first quarter. Klingenstein Fields & Co. LLC now owns 125,505 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $10,032,000 after buying an additional 28,221 shares during the last quarter. Independence Bank of Kentucky increased its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 4.5% in the first quarter. Independence Bank of Kentucky now owns 7,463 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $597,000 after buying an additional 323 shares during the last quarter. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. increased its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 873.0% in the first quarter. Peregrine Asset Advisers Inc. now owns 35,028 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $2,800,000 after buying an additional 31,428 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Verity & Verity LLC increased its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 0.4% in the first quarter. Verity & Verity LLC now owns 94,921 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $7,588,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. 73.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities analysts have commented on the company. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $81.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $85.00 to $93.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 16th. ValuEngine downgraded Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group lifted their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $80.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $86.74.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, SVP Joseph J. Manning sold 47,226 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.14, for a total value of $4,020,821.64. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 97,755 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,322,860.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP Michael J. Pederson sold 23,008 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $86.39, for a total value of $1,987,661.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 104,228 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,004,256.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 181,497 shares of company stock valued at $15,701,810 over the last 90 days. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

ABT traded up $0.14 during trading on Friday, reaching $80.28. The stock had a trading volume of 2,165,261 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,028,799. The firm has a market capitalization of $138.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.21 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a quick ratio of 1.20, a current ratio of 1.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. Abbott Laboratories has a 1-year low of $65.44 and a 1-year high of $88.76. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $83.20 and a two-hundred day moving average of $81.67.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 17th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $7.98 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 17.26% and a net margin of 9.36%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.73 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Abbott Laboratories will post 3.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 15th will be given a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, October 11th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.59%. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 44.44%.

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 symptom; gynecological disorder; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraine; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccines and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

Further Reading: Limitations of the P/E Growth ratio

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

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