Novartis (NVS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Novartis (NYSE:NVS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Novartis is mulling strategic options for Alcon which includes retaining the business separation via capital market transactions such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company believes that the Alcon division has revived well for now even though a separation via capital markets will create value for shareholders. The loss of patent protection for some of the key drugs in Novartis’ portfolio is a cause of concern. Moreover, Kisqali’s uptake has been slow. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in the last three months. Nevertheless, Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio of drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu, and Kisqali. The recent approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a major boost for Novartis given the potential in the CAR T therapy space.”

NVS has been the subject of several other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a neutral rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday, September 26th. Leerink Swann boosted their price target on shares of Novartis from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Nord/LB restated a neutral rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday. Bank of America cut shares of Novartis from a neutral rating to an underperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Barclays cut shares of Novartis from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $85.32.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) traded up $0.64 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $86.06. 345,172 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,015,267. The company has a current ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The company has a market capitalization of $224,210.00, a P/E ratio of 30.63, a PEG ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 0.74. Novartis has a one year low of $69.53 and a one year high of $86.90.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.29 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $12.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.21 billion. Novartis had a net margin of 13.73% and a return on equity of 15.77%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.23 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Novartis will post 4.77 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. WFG Advisors LP boosted its stake in shares of Novartis by 38.1% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 337 shares in the last quarter. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 3rd quarter valued at $106,000. Cable Hill Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Novartis by 588.8% in the 3rd quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 1,295 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 1,107 shares in the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 2nd quarter valued at $146,000. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 3rd quarter valued at $200,000. 10.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Novartis

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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