The Baxter International Inc. (BAX) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

The Baxter International Inc. (BAX) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has $53.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “We believe Baxter is gaining prominence with a series of strategic developments that include the recent launch of NUMETA G13E in Europe for vulnerable preterm newborns, the strategic tie-up with Satellite Healthcare and the recognition of its Sigma spectrum infusion system as a highly efficient infusion pump in drug library compliance (analysis by KLAS research firm). We believe the launch of AMIA APD system with the SHARESOURCE Connectivity in Canada will expand the company’s international footprint. However, intense competition in the medical products segment and lackluster hospital spending are major concerns. Meanwhile, a glimpse on the estimate trends reveals that estimates are stable for the current year, before the company’s earnings release of third-quarter of fiscal 2016.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on BAX. Barclays PLC began coverage on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. They issued an overweight rating and a $52.00 price objective on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Friday, July 8th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $50.00 price objective (up from $47.00) on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Baxter International from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a sector perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Argus reissued a hold rating on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Monday, August 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $48.17.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) traded up 0.61% during trading on Thursday, hitting $48.01. 1,475,077 shares of the stock were exchanged. Baxter International has a 12-month low of $33.63 and a 12-month high of $49.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $26.11 billion, a PE ratio of 5.51 and a beta of 0.71. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $47.04 and a 200-day moving average price of $45.52.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.06. Baxter International had a net margin of 47.74% and a return on equity of 10.70%. The firm had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.51 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.00 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Baxter International will post $1.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a $0.13 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.09%. Baxter International’s payout ratio is currently 5.99%.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Baxter Bros Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the second quarter valued at about $229,000. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the second quarter valued at about $208,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of Baxter International by 753.5% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,281,030 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,148,000 after buying an additional 2,013,786 shares during the last quarter. Lebenthal Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the first quarter valued at about $1,100,000. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Baxter International by 1.9% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 217,912 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,952,000 after buying an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.81% of the company’s stock.

Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides a portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics, and pharmacy automation, software and services.

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