Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 9,706,353 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 11% from the previous session’s volume of 10,877,903 shares.The stock last traded at $41.39 and had previously closed at $40.83.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on ABT shares. BTIG Research reissued a “buy” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Wednesday, March 16th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price target (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Leerink Swann upped their price target on Abbott Laboratories from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, March 28th. Zacks Investment Research raised Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Abbott Laboratories from $42.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 28th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $46.40.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $38.60 and a 200-day moving average of $40.04. The company has a market cap of $60.76 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.47.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.39 by $0.02. The business earned $4.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.77 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.47 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 15th will be given a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, July 13th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.51%.

In other news, EVP Hubert L. Allen sold 3,400 shares of Abbott Laboratories stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.14, for a total value 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 $3,411,568.98. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Other large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cooke & Bieler LP acquired a new stake in Abbott Laboratories during the fourth quarter worth $54,198,000. Winton Capital Group Ltd increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 798.7% in the fourth quarter. Winton Capital Group Ltd now owns 1,250,204 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $56,147,000 after buying an additional 1,111,094 shares during the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 170.4% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 889,646 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $39,954,000 after buying an additional 560,602 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 9.7% in the fourth quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 5,766,120 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $258,957,000 after buying an additional 508,111 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 32.5% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 1,459,926 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $65,565,000 after buying an additional 357,867 shares during the last quarter.

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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