Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Short Interest Update

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was the target of a large growth in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 13,229,656 shares, a growth of 36.6% from the January 12th total of 9,685,399 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 8,362,357 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.6 days. Approximately 0.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE ABT) traded up $0.64 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $58.28. 3,607,440 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,821,996. Abbott Laboratories has a 12-month low of $42.31 and a 12-month high of $64.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 2.69 and a quick ratio of 2.26. The firm has a market cap of $101,010.00, a P/E ratio of 291.10, a PEG ratio of 1.72 and a beta of 1.55.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 24th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.01. Abbott Laboratories had a net margin of 1.74% and a return on equity of 13.80%. The firm had revenue of $7.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.38 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.65 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 42.3% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.86 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Investors of record on Friday, January 12th will be issued a $0.28 dividend. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.92%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 11th. This is an increase from Abbott Laboratories’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.27. Abbott Laboratories’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 560.00%.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, insider Alejandro D. Wellisch sold 2,153 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.86, for a total value of $120,266.58. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,256 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $572,900.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Stephen R. Fussell sold 13,313 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.84, for a total transaction of $836,588.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 152,343 shares in the company, valued at $9,573,234.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 374,458 shares of company stock worth $20,752,706 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.76% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Two Sigma Investments LP grew its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 27.9% in the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 63,956 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $3,650,000 after acquiring an additional 13,966 shares in the last quarter. HealthCor Management L.P. acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the fourth quarter worth $13,979,000. Two Sigma Advisers LP acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the fourth quarter worth $7,872,000. Avestar Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the fourth quarter worth $293,000. Finally, Premia Global Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories in the fourth quarter worth $348,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.61% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $66.00 to $70.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Friday, January 19th. Bank of America lifted their price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories from $60.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, January 25th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.47.

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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.

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