Abaxis (ABAX) Trading 16.3% Higher

Abaxis Inc (NASDAQ:ABAX)’s share price traded up 16.3% on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $62.70 and last traded at $61.52. 568,400 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 111% from the average session volume of 269,467 shares. The stock had previously closed at $52.91.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. UBS Group raised shares of Abaxis from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Raymond James Financial raised shares of Abaxis from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Abaxis from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday. Northcoast Research raised shares of Abaxis from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Abaxis from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.63.

The firm has a market capitalization of $1,380.00, a P/E ratio of 51.38 and a beta of 0.86.

Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.02. Abaxis had a net margin of 11.98% and a return on equity of 10.18%. The company had revenue of $58.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.85 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.34 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Abaxis Inc will post 1.08 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st were paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.04%. This is an increase from Abaxis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 30th. Abaxis’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.33%.

Abaxis declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Tuesday, October 24th that allows the company to buyback $21.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical research company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Citigroup Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Abaxis by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 18,967 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $1,005,000 after buying an additional 87 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Abaxis by 17.6% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,574 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $136,000 after purchasing an additional 386 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its stake in Abaxis by 7.5% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 10,764 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $571,000 after purchasing an additional 751 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its stake in Abaxis by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 13,750 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $729,000 after purchasing an additional 1,070 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp lifted its stake in Abaxis by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 23,634 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,250,000 after purchasing an additional 1,163 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.66% of the company’s stock.

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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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