Abaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) shares were up 1.7% on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $53.48 and last traded at $53.43, with a volume of 79,674 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $52.52.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on ABAX shares. Vetr lowered Abaxis from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.81 target price for the company. in a report on Thursday, March 31st. TheStreet raised Abaxis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 9th. CL King initiated coverage on Abaxis in a report on Friday, April 1st. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “underperform” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on shares of Abaxis in a report on Friday, March 25th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Abaxis in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.30.

The stock has a market capitalization of $1.20 billion and a P/E ratio of 38.55. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $47.12 and a 200-day moving average price of $45.58.

Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.32 by $0.04. The firm earned $57 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $56.62 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.17 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Abaxis Inc. will post $1.41 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 3rd were issued a $0.12 dividend. This is an increase from Abaxis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. This represents a $0.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 1st.

In other news, Director Henk Evenhuis sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $135,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $693,000. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Richard Bastiani sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.75, for a total value of $233,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 54,400 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,543,200. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Abaxis by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 381,040 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,217,000 after buying an additional 26,941 shares during the period. WBI Investments Inc. bought a new position in Abaxis during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,051,000. US Bancorp DE increased its position in Abaxis by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 23,142 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,289,000 after buying an additional 1,421 shares during the period. Deere & Co. increased its position in Abaxis by 349.9% in the fourth quarter. Deere & Co. now owns 41,045 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,285,000 after buying an additional 31,921 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Abaxis by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 145,758 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,116,000 after buying an additional 5,638 shares during the period.

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

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