Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) shares traded up 3.2% during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $40.71 and last traded at $40.69, with a volume of 6,684,949 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $39.44.

A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday. Edward Jones upgraded shares of Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Saturday, June 18th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on Abbott Laboratories from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $46.40.

The stock has a market capitalization of $59.99 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.14. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $38.40 and its 200-day moving average price is $40.02.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $4.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.77 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.47 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Investors of record on Friday, July 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 13th.

In related news, EVP Hubert L. Allen sold 3,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.14, for a total transaction of $126,276.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 91,857 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,411,568.98. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.

Several large investors recently modified their holdings of ABT. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 22.7% in the fourth quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 22,274 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,000,000 after buying an additional 4,124 shares during the period. Baldwin Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Baldwin Investment Management LLC now owns 23,068 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,036,000 after buying an additional 143 shares during the period. Simmons First Trust Co. NA bought a new stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the fourth quarter worth $1,094,000. American National Bank & Trust Co. VA boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 10.1% in the fourth quarter. American National Bank & Trust Co. VA now owns 25,243 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,133,000 after buying an additional 2,307 shares during the period. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 26,018 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $1,169,000 after buying an additional 2,016 shares during the period.

Abbott Laboratories (Abbott) is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a line of healthcare products. The Company operates in four business segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. The Established Pharmaceutical Products segment includes the international sales of a line of branded generic pharmaceutical products.

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