Baxter International (BAX) Lifted to “Buy” at Bank of America

Bank of America upgraded shares of Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports.

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on BAX. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Baxter International from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Cowen set a $68.00 target price on shares of Baxter International and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Sunday, October 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Baxter International from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Barclays raised their target price on shares of Baxter International from $70.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $68.64.

Baxter International (BAX) traded up $0.16 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $68.41. 3,697,900 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,509,934. Baxter International has a one year low of $44.56 and a one year high of $68.86. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 2.22 and a current ratio of 2.80. The company has a market cap of $37,270.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.69.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.64 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.05. Baxter International had a net margin of 9.88% and a return on equity of 15.00%. The company had revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.56 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Baxter International will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 1st were issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.59%.

In related news, SVP Jeanne K. Mason sold 33,350 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.25, for a total transaction of $2,176,087.50. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 124,609 shares in the company, valued at $8,130,737.25. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Third Point Llc sold 5,000,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.23, for a total transaction of $321,150,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 5,061,991 shares of company stock valued at $325,245,035. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of BAX. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in Baxter International by 5.4% during the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 53,180 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,220,000 after acquiring an additional 2,739 shares in the last quarter. Burney Co. raised its position in Baxter International by 2.9% during the second quarter. Burney Co. now owns 8,117 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $488,000 after acquiring an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC raised its position in Baxter International by 5.0% during the second quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 26,345 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,595,000 after acquiring an additional 1,256 shares in the last quarter. Argent Trust Co bought a new position in Baxter International during the second quarter valued at approximately $228,000. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd bought a new position in Baxter International during the second quarter valued at approximately $831,000. 83.78% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Baxter International

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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