Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, December 26th.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, Baxter has outperformed the broader industry in terms of price performance.The company's impressive performance in the third quarter 2017 at the hospital products and renal segments hold promise. Baxter launched the oXIRIS set for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and sepsis management protocols in select markets of Europe, Middle East and Africa recently. Further, the recent launch of DeviceVue, a comprehensive asset tracking solution available exclusively to hospitals, boosts the company’s product portfolio. The company acquired Claris Injectables recently. On the flipside, a strong U.S. dollar, intensifying competition and lackluster sales growth are key concerns. Generic competition for cyclophosphamide is a headwind. Added to this, the recent hurricanes are expected to dent the company’s results.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Cowen set a $68.00 price target on shares of Baxter International and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, October 15th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Bank of America reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Wednesday, November 22nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.64.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) opened at $68.34 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $37,230.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 2.80 and a quick ratio of 2.22. Baxter International has a 52-week low of $45.47 and a 52-week high of $69.65.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.66 billion. Baxter International had a net margin of 9.88% and a return on equity of 15.00%. Baxter International’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.56 EPS. research analysts predict that Baxter International will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Third Point Llc sold 5,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.23, for a total value of $321,150,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Giuseppe Accogli sold 28,641 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.00, for a total transaction of $1,918,947.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,061,991 shares of company stock valued at $325,245,035 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

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 Baxter International in the 4th quarter valued at about $327,000. DnB Asset Management AS increased its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 1.7% in the 4th quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 54,428 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,518,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Progressive Investment Management Corp increased its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 1.9% in the 4th quarter. Progressive Investment Management Corp now owns 80,097 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $5,177,000 after purchasing an additional 1,489 shares in the last quarter. Private Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Baxter International in the 4th quarter valued at about $205,000. Finally, Stillwater Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Baxter International by 271.9% in the 4th quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 75,133 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,816,000 after purchasing an additional 54,928 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.78% of the company’s stock.

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Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides renal and hospital products. The Company operates through two segments: Hospital Products and Renal. Its Hospital Products business manufactures sterile intravenous (IV) solutions and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, IV nutrition products, parenteral nutrition therapies, infusion pumps, inhalation anesthetics and biosurgery products.

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