BidaskClub downgraded shares of Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Saturday.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on VIVO. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Meridian Bioscience from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $23.00 price target for the company in a research report on Saturday, November 10th. ValuEngine raised shares of Meridian Bioscience from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Meridian Bioscience currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $19.50.

Shares of Meridian Bioscience stock opened at $17.47 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26, a current ratio of 5.75 and a quick ratio of 4.02. Meridian Bioscience has a twelve month low of $13.53 and a twelve month high of $19.84. The firm has a market cap of $740.78 million, a P/E ratio of 23.61 and a beta of 0.58.

Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.04. Meridian Bioscience had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 18.18%. The firm had revenue of $213.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $51.11 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.15 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 6.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Meridian Bioscience will post 0.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th were given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 16th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.86%. Meridian Bioscience’s payout ratio is currently 67.57%.

In other Meridian Bioscience news, EVP Lawrence Baldini sold 35,101 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 76,129 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,477,663.89. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 2.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VIVO. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 9.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,901,032 shares of the company’s stock valued at $93,827,000 after purchasing an additional 518,731 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. acquired a new stake in shares of Meridian Bioscience in the 3rd quarter valued at about $4,301,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 9.1% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,631,276 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,837,000 after purchasing an additional 220,500 shares in the last quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Meridian Bioscience in the 2nd quarter valued at about $3,369,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Meridian Bioscience by 57.7% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 523,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,807,000 after purchasing an additional 191,623 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.14% of the company’s stock.

Meridian Bioscience Company Profile

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

Further Reading: Diversification

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