Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Abbott Laboratories (ABT) to Buy

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The firm presently has a $58.00 price objective on the healthcare product maker’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 10.46% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “In the past three months, Abbott has been trading above the broader industry. Abbott’s second-quarter 2017 performance was promising. The raised guidance is indicative of brighter prospects. In fact, the guidance raise was 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, its FreeStyle Libre received the reimbursement approval in the United Kingdom as well as Health Canadian License. Also, the company has received FDA approval for Full MagLev HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Device 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 await the closing of the Alere buyout, slated for the end of third quarter.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. TheStreet raised Abbott Laboratories from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Guggenheim started coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $58.00 price objective for the company. BTIG Research started coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $56.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on Abbott Laboratories from $49.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Abbott Laboratories currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.71.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE ABT) opened at 52.51 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $50.14 and its 200-day moving average price is $47.04. Abbott Laboratories has a 12-month low of $37.38 and a 12-month high of $52.60. The firm has a market cap of $91.23 billion, a PE ratio of 73.54 and a beta of 1.06.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $6.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.63 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 14.43% and a net margin of 4.96%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.55 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, insider Brian J. Blaser sold 15,000 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $750,000.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 143,154 shares in the company, valued at $7,157,700. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Hubert L. Allen sold 4,600 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.79, for a total value of $233,634.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 105,479 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,357,278.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 218,150 shares of company stock worth $10,811,179. Company insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 129,786,955 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $6,308,944,000 after buying an additional 3,241,063 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 18.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 80,499,469 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,574,987,000 after buying an additional 12,806,535 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 45.7% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 47,589,663 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $2,313,334,000 after buying an additional 14,918,038 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 11.0% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 33,796,869 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,500,920,000 after buying an additional 3,344,508 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 3.1% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 26,865,706 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,305,942,000 after buying an additional 809,732 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.50% of the company’s stock.

About Abbott Laboratories

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

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