Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Novartis’ third-quarter 2016 results were mixed with the company beating earnings estimates but missing on revenues. The company is facing challenging business conditions due to generic competition and weakness in the Alcon business. Generic competition for Gleevec, Exelon Patch,  Diovan and Exforge; increased spending related to the ongoing launches of Entresto and Cosentyx; the restructuring plan for Alcon; and unfavorable currency fluctuations will continue to dampen the company’s performance in the upcoming quarters. Nevertheless, the company enjoys a strong presence in the oncology market with drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi and Zykadia.  We are also impressed by the company’s efforts to strengthen its biosimilars portfolio. “

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on NVS. Argus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a report on Thursday, August 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Chardan Capital initiated coverage on Novartis AG in a research note on Tuesday, September 20th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 price objective for the company. TheStreet downgraded Novartis AG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Sunday, October 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Novartis AG has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $88.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) opened at 68.76 on Tuesday. Novartis AG has a 12 month low of $67.28 and a 12 month high of $88.49. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $72.53 and a 200-day moving average price of $78.37. The company has a market cap of $163.34 billion, a PE ratio of 24.25 and a beta of 0.71.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $1.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.04. Novartis AG had a return on equity of 15.25% and a net margin of 13.98%. The business earned $12.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. Novartis AG’s revenue was down 1.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Novartis AG will post $4.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Novartis AG by 28.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 144,330 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,455,000 after buying an additional 32,150 shares in the last quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Novartis AG by 44.0% in the first quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. now owns 3,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $261,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Iowa State Bank bought a new stake in shares of Novartis AG during the second quarter worth about $122,000. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC boosted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 6.3% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 1,240 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the period. Finally, New England Research & Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Novartis AG during the second quarter worth about $753,000. 9.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Novartis AG

Novartis AG is a holding company. The Company specializes in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals, including eye care products. Its portfolio includes medicines, eye care and generic pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Pharmaceuticals, Alcon and Sandoz.

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