Abbott Laboratories Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (NYSE:ABT)

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) saw some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors purchased 65,867 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 1,592% compared to the typical volume of 3,892 call options.

ABT stock opened at $112.15 on Thursday. Abbott Laboratories has a 1 year low of $61.61 and a 1 year high of $115.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a current ratio of 1.70. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $108.46 and its 200 day moving average price is $105.10. The firm has a market cap of $198.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 59.34, a PEG ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.83.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The healthcare product maker reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $8.85 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.53 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 18.19% and a net margin of 10.50%. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.84 EPS. On average, research analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post 3.57 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 15th will be issued a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 14th. This is an increase from Abbott Laboratories’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.60%. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is 44.44%.

Several research firms recently weighed in on ABT. SVB Leerink lifted their target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $110.00 to $115.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $110.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, October 9th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $113.00 to $123.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 22nd. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $136.00 to $118.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $121.00 to $126.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Abbott Laboratories presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $115.82.

In other news, CFO Robert E. Funck sold 83,333 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.83, for a total transaction of $9,069,130.39. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 265,550 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $28,899,806.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Phebe N. Novakovic sold 4,790 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.28, for a total transaction of $513,871.20. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 34,446 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,695,366.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 5.2% during the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 25,721,656 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $2,799,288,000 after buying an additional 1,265,801 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.3% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 25,371,069 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $2,761,133,000 after acquiring an additional 568,480 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 3.7% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 10,100,593 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $923,496,000 after buying an additional 359,477 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 1.5% during the third quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 8,507,561 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $925,878,000 after purchasing an additional 121,985 shares during the period. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 3.6% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 7,156,120 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $778,801,000 after buying an additional 251,776 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.58% of the company’s stock.

Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide. Its Established Pharmaceutical Products segment offers generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; irritable bowel syndrome or biliary spasm; intrahepatic cholestasis or depressive symptom; gynecological disorder; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraine; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccines and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

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