Louisiana State Employees Retirement System lowered its stake in Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) by 14.8% in the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 15,938 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,762 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System’s holdings in Meridian Bioscience were worth $277,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in VIVO. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Meridian Bioscience by 5.6% in the third 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 in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. purchased a new position in Meridian Bioscience in the third quarter worth about $4,301,000. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Meridian Bioscience by 57.7% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 523,950 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,807,000 after acquiring an additional 191,623 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Meridian Bioscience by 6.5% in the third 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Matarin Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Meridian Bioscience in the third quarter worth about $1,408,000. Institutional investors own 91.11% of the company’s stock.

In other Meridian Bioscience news, EVP Lawrence Baldini sold 35,101 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.41, for a total transaction of $681,310.41. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 76,129 shares in the company, valued at $1,477,663.89. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 2.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

VIVO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub lowered Meridian Bioscience from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Meridian Bioscience from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Saturday, January 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Meridian Bioscience from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th.

Shares of NASDAQ:VIVO opened at $15.93 on Wednesday. Meridian Bioscience, Inc. has a 1 year low of $13.53 and a 1 year high of $19.84. The company has a market cap of $676.28 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.53 and a beta of 0.41. The company has a quick ratio of 4.02, a current ratio of 5.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26.

Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.02. Meridian Bioscience had a return on equity of 19.27% and a net margin of 12.06%. The business had revenue of $51.48 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $51.50 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.15 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Meridian Bioscience, Inc. will post 0.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 14th. Shareholders of record on Monday, February 4th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 1st. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.14%. Meridian Bioscience’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 67.57%.

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Meridian Bioscience 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: Mutual Funds

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Meridian Bioscience (NASDAQ:VIVO)

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