Piper Jaffray started coverage on shares of Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm issued an overweight rating and a $77.00 price target on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.
A number of other research analysts also recently commented on BAX. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $74.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $73.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $72.00 price objective on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Deutsche Bank raised shares of Baxter International from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $80.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, February 20th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Baxter International has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $72.47.
Baxter International traded up $0.17, reaching $70.82, on Thursday, MarketBeat.com reports. The stock had a trading volume of 66,011 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,179,046. The firm has a market cap of $37.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.57, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.83 and a beta of 0.81. The company has a current ratio of 2.63, a quick ratio of 2.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Baxter International has a 12-month low of $70.19 and a 12-month high of $71.36.
Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.08. Baxter International had a net margin of 7.75% and a return on equity of 15.70%. The company had revenue of $2.68 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.58 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Baxter International will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st will be given a dividend of $0.19 per share. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 31st. This is an increase from Baxter International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio is 25.81%.
Baxter International announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, February 20th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Baxter International news, SVP Brik V. Eyre sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.57, for a total value of $1,411,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 85,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,006,565.55. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Peter S. Hellman sold 3,760 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.74, for a total transaction of $243,422.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 25,522 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,652,294.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 47,500 shares of company stock valued at $3,194,912. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its position in Baxter International by 10.0% in the first quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 64,346 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $4,184,000 after acquiring an additional 5,855 shares in the last quarter. WealthPLAN Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Baxter International in the first quarter valued at approximately $325,000. Verition Fund Management LLC grew its position in Baxter International by 96.2% in the first quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 29,507 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,919,000 after acquiring an additional 14,465 shares in the last quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Baxter International in the first quarter valued at approximately $268,000. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Baxter International by 6.4% in the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,226,033 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $79,740,000 after acquiring an additional 73,253 shares in the last quarter. 84.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
About Baxter International
Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.
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