AmerisourceBergen (ABC) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “AmerisourceBergen underperformed its industry in the past year. Also, sluggishness in the ABCS segment is a concern. AmerisourceBergen faces headwinds, thanks to the slowdown in hepatitis C revenues and conversion of branded drugs to the lower price generics. Further, a temporary slowdown in PharMEDium's growth is expected to mar the company’s bottom line. In this regard, the company faced lower-than-expected production at PharMEDium's Memphis facility in the last quarter. However, AmerisourceBergen's strong guidance instills investor’s optimism on the stock. Solid performance in the Pharmaceutical Distribution Segment and World Courier business holds promise. Notably, the company's World Courier unit recently obtained global Good Distribution Practices (GDP) designation. Further, the recent takeover of H.D. Smith, the largest independent wholesaler in the United States, is also a positive.”

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ABC has been the topic of a number of other reports. Needham & Company LLC decreased their price target on AmerisourceBergen from $117.00 to $113.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Goldman Sachs upgraded AmerisourceBergen from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Jefferies Group set a $95.00 price target on AmerisourceBergen and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Leerink Swann set a $105.00 price target on AmerisourceBergen and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, Argus lifted their price target on AmerisourceBergen from $93.96 to $115.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, March 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $103.34.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) opened at $85.00 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $19,592.28, a P/E ratio of 18.32, a PEG ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 1.03. The company has a quick ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61. AmerisourceBergen has a twelve month low of $71.90 and a twelve month high of $106.27.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.20. AmerisourceBergen had a return on equity of 53.65% and a net margin of 0.66%. The firm had revenue of $40.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $40.42 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.36 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that AmerisourceBergen will post 6.58 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 5th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were given a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 16th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.79%. AmerisourceBergen’s payout ratio is 32.76%.

In other AmerisourceBergen news, insider Peyton R. Howell sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.78, for a total transaction of $281,340.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 49,189 shares in the company, valued at $4,612,944.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard W. Gochnauer sold 2,278 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.13, for a total value of $230,374.14. Following the sale, the director now owns 13,225 shares in the company, valued at $1,337,444.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 156,809 shares of company stock worth $14,988,589. 27.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Addenda Capital Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the fourth quarter worth $4,599,000. MML Investors Services LLC raised its holdings in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 75.7% in the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 20,999 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,928,000 after acquiring an additional 9,045 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. raised its holdings in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 13,959 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,285,000 after acquiring an additional 1,379 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 107.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,363,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $434,385,000 after acquiring an additional 2,776,287 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Baupost Group LLC MA acquired a new position in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the third quarter worth $15,627,000. Institutional investors own 67.30% of the company’s stock.

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About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen Corporation sources and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States and internationally. Its Pharmaceutical Distribution segment distributes brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter healthcare products, home healthcare supplies and equipment, outsourced compounded sterile preparations, and related services to various healthcare providers, including acute care hospitals and health systems, independent and chain retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, medical clinics, long-term care and other alternate site pharmacies, and other customers.

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