Baxter International (BAX) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, Baxter has outperformed its industry in terms of price performance. Baxter's impressive performance at the hospital products and renal segments hold promise. The company got FDA approval of Bivalirudin in 0.9 percent Sodium Chloride Injection recently. Further, Baxter announced U.S. launch of the Arisure Closed System Transfer device, the oXIRIS set for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and sepsis management protocols in select markets of Europe, Middle East and Africa. On the flip side, Baxter expects low single-digit decline in its contract manufacturing services. Further, foreign currency headwinds, intense competition and lackluster sales growth have been dampening Baxter’s performance since long. Generic competition for cyclophosphamide is a headwind. Baxter also projects also lower manufacturing revenues from Shire, which was acquired earlier by Baxter.”

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A number of other brokerages also recently commented on BAX. Evercore ISI started coverage on Baxter International in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $71.00 target price on the stock. Bank of America upgraded Baxter International from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Raymond James Financial upgraded Baxter International from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Baxter International from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Barclays upped their price target on Baxter International from $73.00 to $77.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $71.27.

Baxter International (BAX) opened at $64.29 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, a current ratio of 2.57 and a quick ratio of 2.05. Baxter International has a 52 week low of $51.39 and a 52 week high of $72.58. The company has a market capitalization of $35,406.10, a PE ratio of 49.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 0.82.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.05. Baxter International had a return on equity of 15.11% and a net margin of 6.79%. The firm had revenue of $2.77 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.77 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.57 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Baxter International will post 2.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Baxter International announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, February 20th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP Giuseppe Accogli sold 28,641 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.00, for a total transaction of $1,918,947.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Carole J. Shapazian sold 4,990 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.05, for a total value of $329,589.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Robecosam AG bought a new stake in Baxter International during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Family Capital Trust Co bought a new stake in Baxter International during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Community Bank N.A. boosted its stake in Baxter International by 152.7% during the 4th quarter. Community Bank N.A. now owns 1,655 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Trustcore Financial Services LLC bought a new stake in Baxter International during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $131,000. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust boosted its stake in Baxter International by 526.0% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,285 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $143,000 after purchasing an additional 1,920 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.54% of the company’s stock.

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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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