Traders bought shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $52.24 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $33.01 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $19.23 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Abbott Laboratories had the 22nd highest net in-flow for the day. Abbott Laboratories traded down ($0.32) for the day and closed at $44.36

Several analysts recently issued reports on ABT shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $44.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price objective (up from $44.00) on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Wells Fargo & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, May 12th. Jefferies Group raised their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 11th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $47.08.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $43.30 and a 200 day moving average price of $40.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $65.21 billion and a PE ratio of 29.28.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.02. The firm earned $5.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.52 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.20 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 15th were issued a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, July 13th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.34%.

In other news, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 41,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $1,867,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 196,467 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,841,015. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Hubert L. Allen sold 3,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were 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 $3,411,568.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,503,068 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $202,233,000 after buying an additional 115,706 shares during the last quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 31.6% in the fourth quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 357,129 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $16,039,000 after buying an additional 85,800 shares during the last quarter. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC now owns 470,852 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $21,146,000 after buying an additional 3,888 shares during the last quarter. Autus Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Autus Asset Management LLC now owns 99,700 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $4,478,000 after buying an additional 5,126 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ancora Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 11.7% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 50,506 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $2,274,000 after buying an additional 5,300 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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