AmerisourceBergen (ABC) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “AmerisourceBergen underperformed its industry in the past year. Also, sluggishness in the ABCS segment is a concern. AmerisourceBergen faces headwinds, thanks to the slowdown in hepatitis C revenues and conversion of branded drugs to the lower price generics. Further, a temporary slowdown in PharMEDium's growth is expected to mar the company’s bottom line. In this regard, the company faced lower-than-expected production at PharMEDium's Memphis facility in the last quarter. However, AmerisourceBergen's strong guidance instills investor’s optimism on the stock. Solid performance in the Pharmaceutical Distribution Segment and World Courier business holds promise. Notably, the company's World Courier unit recently obtained global Good Distribution Practices (GDP) designation. Further, the recent takeover of H.D. Smith, the largest independent wholesaler in the United States, is also a positive.”

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ABC has been the topic of several other research reports. Needham & Company LLC dropped their target price on AmerisourceBergen from $117.00 to $113.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, February 8th. Goldman Sachs raised shares of AmerisourceBergen from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Jefferies Group set a $95.00 price target on shares of AmerisourceBergen and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, February 7th. Leerink Swann set a $105.00 price target on shares of AmerisourceBergen and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Argus upped their price target on shares of AmerisourceBergen from $93.96 to $115.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, March 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $103.34.

Shares of AmerisourceBergen (ABC) opened at $84.03 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $19,660.38, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.03. AmerisourceBergen has a 12-month low of $71.90 and a 12-month high of $106.27. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $40.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $40.42 billion. AmerisourceBergen had a return on equity of 53.65% and a net margin of 0.66%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.36 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that AmerisourceBergen will post 6.58 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 5th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th were paid a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 16th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.81%. AmerisourceBergen’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.76%.

In related news, Chairman Steven H. Collis sold 21,350 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.58, for a total value of $2,104,683.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 287,925 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $28,383,646.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Richard W. Gochnauer sold 2,278 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.13, for a total value of $230,374.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,225 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,337,444.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 156,809 shares of company stock worth $14,988,589. 27.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABC. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in AmerisourceBergen by 107.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,363,429 shares of the company’s stock valued at $434,385,000 after acquiring an additional 2,776,287 shares during the last quarter. Vulcan Value Partners LLC increased its stake in AmerisourceBergen by 29.4% in the fourth quarter. Vulcan Value Partners LLC now owns 7,530,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $691,452,000 after acquiring an additional 1,710,816 shares during the last quarter. Harding Loevner LP increased its stake in AmerisourceBergen by 89.6% in the third quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 3,166,794 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,939,000 after acquiring an additional 1,496,761 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC increased its stake in AmerisourceBergen by 429.2% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,507,690 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,436,000 after acquiring an additional 1,222,806 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in AmerisourceBergen in the third quarter valued at $75,681,000. 67.30% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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AmerisourceBergen Company Profile

AmerisourceBergen Corporation sources and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States and internationally. Its Pharmaceutical Distribution segment distributes brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter healthcare products, home healthcare supplies and equipment, outsourced compounded sterile preparations, and related services to various healthcare providers, including acute care hospitals and health systems, independent and chain retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, medical clinics, long-term care and other alternate site pharmacies, and other customers.

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