Ancora Advisors LLC reduced its position in shares of Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX) by 36.6% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 1,807 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 1,043 shares during the quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC’s holdings in Baxter International were worth $139,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Bridgeworth LLC bought a new position in Baxter International during the 2nd quarter valued at $102,000. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 3,088.9% during the 2nd quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,435 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 1,390 shares in the last quarter. Baker Ellis Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the 2nd quarter worth $111,000. Centaurus Financial Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the 2nd quarter worth $117,000. Finally, Baxter Bros Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Baxter International during the 3rd quarter worth $201,000. 83.40% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

BAX opened at $65.02 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $35.79 billion, a PE ratio of 26.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.04. Baxter International Inc has a 12-month low of $61.05 and a 12-month high of $78.38. The company has a quick ratio of 1.96, a current ratio of 2.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.79 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 17.67% and a net margin of 10.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.64 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Baxter International Inc will post 3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Baxter International announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, November 13th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical instruments supplier to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be issued a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.17%. Baxter International’s payout ratio is currently 30.65%.

In other news, Director Carole J. Shapazian sold 11,749 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.48, for a total value of $804,571.52. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 15,237 shares in the company, valued at $1,043,429.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Third Point Llc sold 8,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.62, for a total value of $548,960,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 8,029,396 shares of company stock valued at $551,128,155 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

BAX has been the subject of several research reports. Argus raised Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Piper Jaffray Companies reduced their price objective on Baxter International from $83.00 to $72.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Baxter International from $72.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Barclays initiated coverage on Baxter International in a research note on Monday, October 15th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $73.00 price objective for the company. Finally, ValuEngine raised Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $74.41.

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Baxter International Profile

Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.

Further Reading: How can you know how many shares are floating?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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