First Merchants Corp decreased its position in shares of AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) by 8.1% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 65,702 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,795 shares during the period. AbbVie makes up about 1.1% of First Merchants Corp’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 24th largest position. First Merchants Corp’s holdings in AbbVie were worth $6,354,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Capital Research Global Investors grew its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 1.2% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 178,274,835 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,926,708,000 after purchasing an additional 2,130,919 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 115,920,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,405,409,000 after purchasing an additional 3,706,941 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 2.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 94,074,962 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,821,375,000 after purchasing an additional 1,864,418 shares during the last quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd grew its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 35.7% in the second quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd now owns 12,704,919 shares of the company’s stock worth $921,233,000 after purchasing an additional 3,340,038 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Woodford Investment Management Ltd grew its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 8.6% in the second quarter. Woodford Investment Management Ltd now owns 11,854,758 shares of the company’s stock worth $859,589,000 after purchasing an additional 937,500 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.51% of the company’s stock.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on ABBV shares. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of AbbVie to $157.00 and gave the stock an “average” rating in a report on Monday, January 29th. Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of AbbVie from $115.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating on shares of AbbVie in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AbbVie from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $108.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Leerink Swann set a $106.00 price target on shares of AbbVie and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $116.47.
In other AbbVie news, EVP Carlos Alban sold 83,574 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.49, for a total transaction of $9,568,387.26. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 133,026 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,230,146.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Robert A. Michael sold 992 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.31, for a total transaction of $119,347.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 211,197 shares of company stock valued at $24,585,575. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Shares of ABBV stock opened at $97.46 on Friday. AbbVie Inc. has a one year low of $63.12 and a one year high of $125.86. The firm has a market cap of $155,780.16, a PE ratio of 29.62, a P/E/G ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a quick ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 6.07.
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, January 26th. The company reported $1.48 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.04. AbbVie had a net margin of 18.82% and a return on equity of 158.15%. The company had revenue of $7.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.53 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.20 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that AbbVie Inc. will post 7.47 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Friday, April 13th will be paid a $0.96 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 12th. This is a positive change from AbbVie’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.71. This represents a $3.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.94%. AbbVie’s dividend payout ratio is 86.32%.
AbbVie announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to buyback $10.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
AbbVie Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. The company offers HUMIRA, a biologic therapy administered as a subcutaneous injection to treat autoimmune diseases; IMBRUVICA, an oral therapy for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia; and VIEKIRA PAK, an interferon-free therapy, with or without ribavirin, for the treatment of adults with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C.
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