Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Cardinal Health (CAH) to “Hold”

Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Cardinal Health exited the fiscal second quarter on a solid note, wherein adjusted earnings and revenues outpaced the consensus mark. The Pharmaceutical segment registered solid growth in the Specialty business and gained a number of Pharmaceutical Distribution customers. An upbeat guidance is indicative of brighter prospects. On the negative side, sluggishness in the Medical segment is a concern. Despite growth in business, profits in the Pharmaceutical segment were hurt by generic pharmaceutical pricing. Also, huge investments in Pharmaceutical IT platform and lackluster generics performance are likely to mar Cardinal Health’s operational efficiencies in the upcoming quarters. Intense competition and customer concentration are other bottlenecks. Recently, the company closed the divestiture of Cardinal Health China distribution.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on CAH. Royal Bank of Canada set a $57.00 target price on Cardinal Health and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 9th. ValuEngine upgraded Cardinal Health from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, November 12th. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 target price on shares of Cardinal Health in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Leerink Swann lowered Cardinal Health from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Cardinal Health from $40.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, December 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cardinal Health currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.91.

CAH traded up $0.40 during trading on Monday, reaching $53.07. The company had a trading volume of 130,646 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,225,377. The company has a market cap of $15.70 billion, a PE ratio of 10.59, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.16. Cardinal Health has a 52 week low of $42.17 and a 52 week high of $73.23. The company has a quick ratio of 0.51, a current ratio of 1.05 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26.

Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.09 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $37.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $36.09 billion. Cardinal Health had a positive return on equity of 24.01% and a negative net margin of 0.03%. Cardinal Health’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.31 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Cardinal Health will post 5.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Cardinal Health announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, November 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, SVP Stuart G. Laws sold 804 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.55, for a total transaction of $44,662.20. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 6,342 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $352,298.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 1.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Gemmer Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Cardinal Health by 172.4% during the fourth quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 553 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares during the period. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in Cardinal Health during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $32,000. CNB Bank purchased a new position in Cardinal Health during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in Cardinal Health during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $68,000. Finally, JNBA Financial Advisors purchased a new position in Cardinal Health during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $78,000. 90.75% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Cardinal Health

Cardinal Health, Inc operates as an integrated healthcare services and products company in the United States and internationally. It provides medical products and pharmaceuticals, and solutions that enhance supply chain efficiency for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories, and physician offices.

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