Novartis (NVS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, January 2nd.

According to Zacks, “Novartis is mulling strategic options for Alcon which includes retaining the business separation via capital market transactions such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company believes that the Alcon division has revived well for now even though a separation via capital markets will create value for shareholders. The loss of patent protection for some of the key drugs in Novartis’ portfolio is a cause of concern. Moreover, Kisqali’s uptake has been slow. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in the last three months. Nevertheless, Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio of drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu, and Kisqali. The recent approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a major boost for Novartis given the potential in the CAR T therapy space.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Nord/LB reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Bank of America cut Novartis from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Barclays cut Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Leerink Swann increased their price target on Novartis from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.32.

Shares of Novartis (NVS) traded up $0.85 on Tuesday, hitting $86.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 588,597 shares, compared to its average volume of 968,215. Novartis has a twelve month low of $69.53 and a twelve month high of $86.90. The firm has a market cap of $225,080.00, a P/E ratio of 30.79, a PEG ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $12.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.21 billion. Novartis had a return on equity of 15.77% and a net margin of 13.73%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.23 EPS. equities analysts expect that Novartis will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new position in shares of Novartis in the 4th quarter valued at about $183,000. CGOV Asset Management boosted its stake in shares of Novartis by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. CGOV Asset Management now owns 897,812 shares of the company’s stock valued at $94,357,000 after buying an additional 23,240 shares during the period. Confluence Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Novartis by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 163,650 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,740,000 after buying an additional 4,350 shares during the period. West Oak Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Novartis by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. West Oak Capital LLC now owns 15,860 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,332,000 after buying an additional 665 shares during the period. Finally, Atlantic Trust Group LLC raised its position in shares of Novartis by 54.2% during the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 72,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,218,000 after acquiring an additional 25,452 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 10.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Novartis

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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