Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday, October 16th. They currently have $61.00 price target on the healthcare product maker’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, Abbott has been trading above the broader industry. While we await Abbott's third-quarter 2017 earnings result, the promising full year guidance is indicative of brighter prospects ahead. In fact, the strong guidance is backed by the company’s expectations to gain more synergies from the St. Jude merger. Overall, we look forward to Abbott’s plans to expand in core therapeutic areas. Recently, the company's FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, the company has received FDA approval for magnetic resonance-conditional labeling for its Ellipse implantable cardioverter defibrillator recently. On the flip side, Abbott’s sluggish pediatric business in China continues to dent growth. Management is also concerned about the economic problems in Venezuela that are expected to remain unresolved for some time. Meanwhile, we still wait for the Alere integration details.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on ABT. Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, August 17th. They set a neutral rating and a $53.00 price objective for the company. Barclays PLC increased their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, September 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Friday, October 6th. They set a neutral rating and a $60.00 price objective for the company. BTIG Research initiated coverage on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. They set a buy rating and a $56.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a buy rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Sunday, September 24th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $56.81.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) opened at 55.48 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $96.39 billion, a PE ratio of 77.70 and a beta of 1.06. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $53.58 and a 200 day moving average price of $48.80. Abbott Laboratories has a one year low of $37.38 and a one year high of $56.69.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $6.83 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.72 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 8.37% and a return on equity of 14.50%. Abbott Laboratories’s quarterly revenue was up 28.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.50 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 13th will be issued a $0.265 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 12th. This represents a $1.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.91%. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.47%.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, insider Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 62,460 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.95, for a total value of $3,307,257.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 113,426 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,005,906.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Sharon J. Bracken sold 2,000 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.16, for a total transaction of $98,320.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 28,806 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,416,102.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 410,313 shares of company stock valued at $21,303,676. 0.76% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Abbott Laboratories during the third quarter worth about $20,883,000. Callahan Advisors LLC boosted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 7.4% during the third quarter. Callahan Advisors LLC now owns 100,946 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $5,386,000 after acquiring an additional 6,961 shares during the last quarter. Somerville Kurt F boosted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 0.9% during the third quarter. Somerville Kurt F now owns 245,885 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $13,122,000 after acquiring an additional 2,235 shares during the last quarter. Puzo Michael J boosted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 1.6% during the third quarter. Puzo Michael J now owns 80,751 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $4,310,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kidder Stephen W boosted its position in Abbott Laboratories by 1.0% during the third quarter. Kidder Stephen W now owns 138,949 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $7,413,000 after acquiring an additional 1,440 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.42% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of healthcare products. The Company operates through four segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. Its Established Pharmaceutical Products include a range of branded generic pharmaceuticals manufactured around the world and marketed and sold outside the United States.

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