Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday, October 31st. Zacks Investment Research currently has $61.00 price target on the healthcare product maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Abbott exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both earnings and sales front in the third quarter. We are optimistic about the strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance. However, these were to some extent offset by sluggish Nutrition business. The company continues to benefit from the recently completed St. Jude Medical buyout. Meanwhile, Alere acquisition close is an upside too. Through 2017, Abbott is effectively focusing on core therapeutic areas. Recently, its FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, it has received approval for MR-conditional labeling for Ellipse ICD. Also, emerging market performance remains promising on several new strategic developments. Hence, in the past three months, Abbott is trading above the broader industry. On the flip side, sluggish pediatric nutrition business in some global markets continues to dent growth. Also the economic problems in Venezuela are expected to remain unresolved.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on ABT. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $58.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $58.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Friday, September 1st. Cowen and Company reissued a buy rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $56.81.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE ABT) traded up $0.02 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $55.56. 6,253,571 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,535,811. Abbott Laboratories has a fifty-two week low of $37.38 and a fifty-two week high of $56.69. The company has a current ratio of 2.69, a quick ratio of 2.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. The firm has a market capitalization of $96,707.79, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.06.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 8.37% and a return on equity of 13.98%. The firm had revenue of $6.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.72 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 28.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.5 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 13th were issued a $0.265 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 12th. This represents a $1.06 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.91%. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.47%.

In other news, insider Jaime Contreras sold 52,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.97, for a total value of $2,738,819.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 58,739 shares in the company, valued at $3,052,665.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 96,603 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.21, for a total transaction of $5,430,054.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 142,082 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,986,429.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 282,920 shares of company stock valued at $15,389,766 in the last 90 days. 0.76% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Tributary Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Abbott Laboratories during the third quarter valued at approximately $106,000. Heritage Trust Co lifted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 10.1% during the second quarter. Heritage Trust Co now owns 2,175 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. lifted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 3.9% during the second quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. now owns 2,382 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 89 shares during the last quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. lifted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 17.7% during the second quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 2,463 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $120,000 after purchasing an additional 370 shares during the last quarter. Finally, V Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter valued at approximately $127,000. Institutional investors own 69.99% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of healthcare products. The Company operates through four segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. Its Established Pharmaceutical Products include a range of branded generic pharmaceuticals manufactured around the world and marketed and sold outside the United States.

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