Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “Post a promising third-quarter performance by Abbott, we are optimistic about the strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance. However, the ongoing sluggish trend in the Nutrition business is a downside. However, 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.”

ABT has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Friday, September 1st. Cowen restated a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Sunday, September 24th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $57.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Barclays upped their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $60.24.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) traded down $0.11 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $58.84. The stock had a trading volume of 6,320,942 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,520,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $102,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.63, a PEG ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.55. Abbott Laboratories has a 52-week low of $39.25 and a 52-week high of $59.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 2.26 and a current ratio of 2.69.

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

In other news, Chairman Miles D. White sold 276,886 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.41, for a total transaction of $15,065,367.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,677,913 shares in the company, valued at $200,115,246.33. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 71,157 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $3,913,635.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 144,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,972,525. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 501,172 shares of company stock valued at $27,533,150. 0.76% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV bought a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the fourth quarter valued at $102,000. Tributary Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the third quarter valued at $106,000. Heritage Trust Co increased its holdings in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Winfield Associates Inc. increased its holdings in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 89 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. boosted its position in shares of 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 buying an additional 370 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.15% of the company’s stock.

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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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