ABAXIS, Inc. (ABAX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ABAXIS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, June 28th.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Abaxis is trading above the broader Medical Product industry. We are encouraged by the company's initiation of new sales and marketing strategies that include portfolio expansion. In the veterinary market, it launched VetScan VUE and VetScan Phenobarbital Profile lately. Abaxis expects additional product launches in 2018. On the flip side, the company's valuation remains stretched. Challenges like competitive bidding and foreign exchange headwind continue to hurt the stock. Rising operating expenses and a weak operating margin are other major woes for the company. The company’s earnings performance in the last reported quarter was unimpressive. Abaxis also witnesses sluggish year over year revenue growth. Also, medical business was flat as strength in rotors was offset by weakness in instrument sales.”

Separately, Aegis started coverage on ABAXIS in a report on Friday, June 9th. They issued a hold rating and a $56.50 price objective on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. ABAXIS has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $47.88.

ABAXIS (ABAX) opened at 52.13 on Wednesday. ABAXIS has a 12-month low of $44.12 and a 12-month high of $55.95. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $50.19 and a 200 day moving average of $49.72. The stock has a market cap of $1.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.28 and a beta of 0.83.

ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The medical research company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33. The company had revenue of $58.20 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $58.04 million. ABAXIS had a return on equity of 11.37% and a net margin of 14.40%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.36 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that ABAXIS will post $1.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Achim Henkel sold 650 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.87, for a total transaction of $31,765.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 58,950 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,880,886.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 4.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its position in ABAXIS by 2.0% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 2,490 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 50 shares in the last quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of ABAXIS by 4.4% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 17,535 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $850,000 after buying an additional 735 shares during the last quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in ABAXIS by 1.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 9,200 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $446,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC boosted its stake in ABAXIS by 9.1% in the first quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 5,621 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $273,000 after buying an additional 471 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 40,590 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $2,142,000 after buying an additional 1,273 shares in the last quarter. 98.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About ABAXIS

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

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