Shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 23,239,489 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 163% from the previous session’s volume of 8,819,875 shares.The stock last traded at $43.70 and had previously closed at $43.17.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on ABT. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, June 18th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, April 30th. Gabelli reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, April 30th. S&P Equity Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, April 30th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Saturday, April 30th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.08.

The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $43.78 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $63.18 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.37.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released 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 business earned $5.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.24 billion. The business’s revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.20 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, July 15th were given a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, July 13th.

In other news, insider Michael J. Warmuth sold 26,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.49, for a total transaction of $1,165,532.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 81,811 shares in the company, valued at $3,557,960.39. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen R. Fussell sold 41,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.00, for a total value of $1,867,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 196,467 shares in the company, valued at $8,841,015. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in 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 valued at $202,233,000 after buying an additional 115,706 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in 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 valued at $16,039,000 after buying an additional 85,800 shares during the period. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC boosted its stake in 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 valued at $21,146,000 after buying an additional 3,888 shares during the period. Autus Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in 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 valued at $4,478,000 after buying an additional 5,126 shares during the period. Finally, Ancora Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 11.7% in the fourth quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 50,506 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $2,274,000 after buying an additional 5,300 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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