Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Abbott Laboratories (ABT) to Hold

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Post a promising third-quarter performance by Abbott, we are optimistic about the strong and consistent EPD and Medical Devices performance. However, the ongoing sluggish trend in the Nutrition business is a downside. However, the company continues to benefit from the recently completed St. Jude Medical buyout. Meanwhile, Alere acquisition close is an upside too. Through 2017, Abbott is effectively focusing on core therapeutic areas. Recently, its FreeStyle Libre Flash received the FDA approval. Also, it has received approval for MR-conditional labeling for Ellipse ICD. Also, emerging market performance remains promising on several new strategic developments. Hence, in the past three months, Abbott is trading above the broader industry. On the flip side, sluggish pediatric nutrition business in some global markets continues to dent growth. Also the economic problems in Venezuela are expected to remain unresolved.”

Several other research firms have also commented on ABT. ValuEngine lowered Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $58.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 19th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “market perform” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Abbott Laboratories currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $59.59.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) opened at $58.82 on Wednesday. Abbott Laboratories has a fifty-two week low of $38.98 and a fifty-two week high of $59.60. The company has a current ratio of 2.69, a quick ratio of 2.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72. The company has a market capitalization of $102,556.20, a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.32, a PEG ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 1.06.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.01. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 13.98% and a net margin of 8.37%. The business had revenue of $6.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.72 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.59 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 28.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.5 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, Chairman Miles D. White sold 276,886 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.41, for a total value of $15,065,367.26. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,677,913 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $200,115,246.33. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Daniel Gesua Sive Salvadori sold 96,603 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.21, for a total value of $5,430,054.63. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 142,082 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,986,429.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 501,172 shares of company stock valued at $27,533,150. 0.76% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABT. Capital Research Global Investors grew its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 45.7% during 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 in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 18.9% during 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 in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 3,373.9% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 7,874,473 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $382,779,000 after buying an additional 7,647,798 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.6% during 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 28.6% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 11,722,088 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $569,830,000 after buying an additional 2,606,404 shares in the last quarter. 71.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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