Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $85.00 price target on the healthcare product maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Abbott exited first quarter 2019 with better-than-expected earnings and revenues figures. We are optimistic about the strong and consistent performance by the company’s EPD and Medical Devices segments on an organic basis. The company has been hogging the limelight within Diabetic Care on growth with FreeStyle Libre. Within Structural Heart, worldwide strong uptake of MitraClip improves further following the FDA approval of its upgraded version. This apart, synergies from Alere consolidation in the form of revenues from Rapid Diagnostics have been driving growth. Abbott's emerging market performance has been promising. Abbott has been outperforming the industry over the past year. On the flip side, sluggish Rhythm Management arm in the United States continues to dent growth. Increasing currency headwinds to some extent dented Abbott’s international performance in the last-reported quarter.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ABT. William Blair reissued an outperform rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories to $82.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, April 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Barclays set a $84.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, BTIG Research reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $80.30.

Shares of NYSE ABT opened at $75.63 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $134.54 billion, a PE ratio of 26.26, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 1.11. Abbott Laboratories has a twelve month low of $60.31 and a twelve month high of $80.74. The company has a current ratio of 1.58, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 17th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.61 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $7.54 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.49 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 8.53% and a return on equity of 16.86%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.59 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post 3.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP Jaime Contreras sold 82,732 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $5,791,240.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 80,722 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,650,540. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jared Watkin sold 309,429 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $78.51, for a total transaction of $24,293,270.79. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 189,227 shares in the company, valued at $14,856,211.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 551,643 shares of company stock worth $42,471,501 over the last ninety days. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 1,136.0% in the 1st quarter. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. now owns 309 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $25,000 after buying an additional 284 shares during the last quarter. RPg Family Wealth Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the 1st quarter worth about $26,000. Front Row Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 790.9% during the 1st quarter. Front Row Advisors LLC now owns 392 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 348 shares during the last quarter. 1 North Wealth Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the 4th quarter worth about $33,000. Finally, Beacon Capital Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the 1st quarter worth about $38,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.58% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide. The company's Established Pharmaceutical Products segment offers branded generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; irritable bowel syndrome or biliary spasm; intrahepatic cholestasis or depressive symptom; gynecological disorder; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraine; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccines and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

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