Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) shares traded down 6.4% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as low as $18.14 and last traded at $18.40. 847,132 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 231% from the average session volume of 256,169 shares. The stock had previously closed at $19.65.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Meridian Bioscience from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Meridian Bioscience from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $23.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Saturday, November 10th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Meridian Bioscience from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Meridian Bioscience currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $19.50.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27, a quick ratio of 3.89 and a current ratio of 5.73. The company has a market cap of $833.07 million, a PE ratio of 24.89 and a beta of 0.54.

Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.04. Meridian Bioscience had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 18.21%. The business had revenue of $213.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $51.11 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.15 EPS. Meridian Bioscience’s revenue was up 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Meridian Bioscience, Inc. will post 0.75 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 30th. Investors of record on Monday, November 19th will be paid a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 16th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.68%. Meridian Bioscience’s payout ratio is presently 67.57%.

In other Meridian Bioscience news, EVP Lawrence Baldini sold 35,101 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.41, for a total value of $681,310.41. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 76,129 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,477,663.89. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John Mcilwraith purchased 2,000 shares of Meridian Bioscience stock in a transaction on Friday, August 24th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $15.63 per share, with a total value of $31,260.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at $93,780. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 5.6% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,228,616 shares of the company’s stock worth $92,806,000 after acquiring an additional 327,584 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 6.5% during the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,801,208 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,738,000 after acquiring an additional 169,932 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,886,692 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,112,000 after acquiring an additional 58,358 shares during the period. Systematic Financial Management LP lifted its holdings in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 0.8% during the 3rd quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 1,140,424 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,992,000 after acquiring an additional 8,709 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 821,462 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,239,000 after acquiring an additional 9,615 shares during the period. 89.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO)

Meridian Bioscience, Inc, a life science company, develops, manufactures, distributes, and sells diagnostic test kits primarily for various gastrointestinal and viral diseases, respiratory and parasitic infectious diseases, and elevated blood lead levels worldwide. The company operates through Diagnostics and Life Science segments.

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