Short Interest in Novartis AG (NVS) Declines By 36.6%

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in the month of December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 1,766,090 shares, a drop of 36.6% from the November 30th total of 2,783,787 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,032,386 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.7 days.

NVS has been the subject of a number of research reports. Barclays lowered Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Nord/LB restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Wednesday, December 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. Finally, Leerink Swann increased their target price on Novartis from $89.00 to $91.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Novartis presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $85.32.

Shares of Novartis (NYSE:NVS) opened at $85.67 on Friday. Novartis has a 1 year low of $69.53 and a 1 year high of $86.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $222,550.00, a PE ratio of 30.49, a P/E/G ratio of 2.55 and a beta of 0.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 1.08.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.25 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $12.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.21 billion. Novartis had a return on equity of 15.77% and a net margin of 13.73%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.23 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Novartis will post 4.77 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in shares of Novartis by 18.5% in the third quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 9,447,817 shares of the company’s stock valued at $811,095,000 after acquiring an additional 1,477,168 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Novartis by 2.0% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 6,632,984 shares of the company’s stock valued at $569,442,000 after acquiring an additional 127,049 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its stake in shares of Novartis by 3.1% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 5,036,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $420,390,000 after acquiring an additional 151,115 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Novartis by 25.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,549,783 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,299,000 after acquiring an additional 717,186 shares during the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Novartis by 2.3% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,046,276 shares of the company’s stock valued at $254,273,000 after acquiring an additional 68,834 shares during the last quarter. 10.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Novartis

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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