Equities analysts predict that Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) will post $7.79 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have made estimates for Abbott Laboratories’ earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $7.73 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $7.85 billion. Abbott Laboratories reported sales of $7.59 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 2.6%. The company is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 23rd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Abbott Laboratories will report full-year sales of $30.61 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $30.55 billion to $30.67 billion. For the next financial year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $32.05 billion, with estimates ranging from $31.77 billion to $32.59 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 17th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.75. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 16.01% and a net margin of 2.91%. The firm had revenue of $7.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.65 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ABT. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, July 19th. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Jefferies Financial Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Raymond James raised their price objective on Abbott Laboratories from $77.00 to $79.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Abbott Laboratories from $70.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.22.

In other Abbott Laboratories news, SVP Sharon J. Bracken sold 1,732 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.35, for a total value of $127,042.20. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 39,229 shares in the company, valued at $2,877,447.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Andrew H. Lane sold 9,097 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.11, for a total transaction of $610,499.67. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 35,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,387,505.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 138,912 shares of company stock worth $9,443,816 over the last three months. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ABT. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the third quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter valued at approximately $104,000. Rainier Group Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the first quarter valued at approximately $114,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter valued at approximately $118,000. Finally, Fort L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter valued at approximately $119,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.30% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:ABT traded down $0.68 on Thursday, reaching $66.99. 8,379,014 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,877,891. Abbott Laboratories has a 52 week low of $53.61 and a 52 week high of $74.15. The stock has a market capitalization of $117.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a current ratio of 1.58, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 15th. Investors of record on Monday, October 15th will be paid a $0.28 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 12th. This represents a $1.12 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.67%. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is presently 44.80%.

About Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide. The company's Established Pharmaceutical Products segment offers branded generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; irritable bowel syndrome or biliary spasm; intrahepatic cholestasis or depressive symptoms; gynecological disorders; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraines; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccine and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

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