Baxter International (NYSE: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 research note issued on Tuesday, December 26th.

According to Zacks, “Over the past year, Baxter has outperformed the broader industry in terms of price performance.The company's impressive performance in the third quarter 2017 at the hospital products and renal segments hold promise. Baxter launched the oXIRIS set for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and sepsis management protocols in select markets of Europe, Middle East and Africa recently. Further, the recent launch of DeviceVue, a comprehensive asset tracking solution available exclusively to hospitals, boosts the company’s product portfolio. The company acquired Claris Injectables recently. On the flipside, a strong U.S. dollar, intensifying competition and lackluster sales growth are key concerns. Generic competition for cyclophosphamide is a headwind. Added to this, the recent hurricanes are expected to dent the company’s results.”

A number of other research firms have also commented on BAX. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Barclays increased their target price on Baxter International from $70.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Baxter International from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $66.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Finally, Bank of America reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Baxter International currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.64.

Baxter International (BAX) opened at $68.46 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $37,300.00, a P/E ratio of 37.01, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a current ratio of 2.80, a quick ratio of 2.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. Baxter International has a 52-week low of $45.47 and a 52-week high of $69.65.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.64 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.66 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 15.00% and a net margin of 9.88%. Baxter International’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.56 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Baxter International will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Baxter International news, SVP Giuseppe Accogli sold 28,641 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Third Point Llc sold 5,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.23, for a total value of $321,150,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,061,991 shares of company stock worth $325,245,035 in the last 90 days. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 526.0% in the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,285 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $143,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 71.3% in the 2nd quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,402 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Baxter International in the 3rd quarter worth $175,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 2,928 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $177,000 after buying an additional 226 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new position in shares of Baxter International in the 2nd quarter worth $188,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.78% 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.

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