Baxter International Sees Unusually High Options Volume (BAX)

Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 4,775 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 697% compared to the typical daily volume of 599 put options.

In other news, Director Carole J. Shapazian sold 6,594 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total transaction of $473,383.26. Following the transaction, the director now owns 16,442 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,180,371.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Scott Pleau sold 27,197 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.57, for a total value of $2,000,883.29. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 47,363 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,484,495.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 78,791 shares of company stock worth $5,684,667 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Two Sigma Advisers LP increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 6.8% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 3,695,958 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $238,907,000 after purchasing an additional 236,000 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its position in Baxter International by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,654,214 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $236,208,000 after acquiring an additional 19,093 shares in the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. grew its position in Baxter International by 13.0% in the 1st quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 3,502,519 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $227,803,000 after acquiring an additional 404,135 shares in the last quarter. HealthCor Management L.P. acquired a new position in Baxter International in the 4th quarter valued at about $111,504,000. Finally, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in Baxter International by 103.8% in the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,652,618 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $107,487,000 after acquiring an additional 841,733 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.44% of the company’s stock.

NYSE BAX opened at $73.07 on Thursday. Baxter International has a 52 week low of $58.81 and a 52 week high of $75.62. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a current ratio of 2.63. The firm has a market cap of $39.13 billion, a PE ratio of 29.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.81.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.08. Baxter International had a return on equity of 15.70% and a net margin of 7.75%. The business had revenue of $2.68 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.58 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Baxter International will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 1st were issued a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 31st. This is a positive change from Baxter International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. Baxter International’s payout ratio is currently 30.65%.

BAX has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, May 17th. ValuEngine upgraded Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Finally, Bank of America raised their price objective on Baxter International from $73.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.25.

Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.

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