Should Investors Consider Buying Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Shares Now That Jefferies & Co Has Upgraded The Stock?

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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) Stock Upgrade

Trading for shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) should be followed closely this week, as Jefferies & Co upgraded shares to a Buy from a Hold. Additionally analysts have announced a new Estimated Target Price of $55.00 which is 21.41% higher.

From a total of 17 analysts covering Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) stock, 16 rate it a ”Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 6 a ”Hold”. This means that 73% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $58 while the lowest target price is $46. The mean of all analyst targets is $50.97 with a 16.18% above today’s ($45.3) stock price. Abbott Laboratories was the topic of 18 analyst reports since July 24, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Goldman Sachs downgraded shares on November 13 to “Neutral” rating. Credit Suisse reinitiated shares with “Outperform” rating and $55 target share price in a report from an August 10. Barclays Capital upgraded ABT stock in a recent report from October 7 to “Overweight” rating. Stifel Nicolaus maintained the rating on July 23. Stifel Nicolaus has a “Buy” rating and a $58 price target on shares. Finally, BTIG Research maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in a report issued on an August 29.

The stock increased 2.60% or $1.15 on December 7, striking $45.3. Approximately 400 shares of stock traded hands. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has declined 3.62% since May 4, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 2.54% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has increased to 0.94 in Q2 2015. Its up 0.11, from 0.83 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 86 institutions have sold all the shares of Abbott Laboratories that they owned while 551 funds have taken shares off the table. 92 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 508 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 1.03 billion shares or 3.83% more than the 989.62 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. currently is holding shares equating to 6.08% of its total portfolio in Abbott Laboratories representing a total of 215,251 shares. Another fund,Inspirion Wealth Advisors Llc, is holding a total of 180,072 shares equating to 5.72% of their holdings. Additionally, Brandywine Trust Co has a 159,855 share stake in Abbott Laboratories which represents 5.41% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Polen Capital Management Llc, based out of Florida, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 5.32% of their total portfolio. Finally Healthcor Management L.P., a fund which is based in the state of New York reported a total holdings of 2.25 million shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to March 12, 2015, shareholders of Abbott Laboratories have witnessed 0 buys, and a total of 3 selling transactions equating to a net activity of approximately $1.27 million . Salvadori Daniel Gesua Sive sold 815 shares worth approximately $32,312. Fussell Stephen R sold 13,096 shares worth approximately $660,854. Blaser Brian J sold 11,300 shares worth approximately $575,904. Pavee Jean-Yves sold 10,500 shares worth approximately $514,500. The company insider Bird Roger sold 28,548 shares worth $1.36 million.

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of health care products. The company has a market cap of $67.57 billion. Abbott operates in four business divisions: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products, and Vascular Products. It has 26.92 P/E ratio. The Established Pharmaceutical Products segment includes the international sales of a line of branded generic pharmaceutical products.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. They have a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals.” Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Abbott Laboratories (ABT).

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