Investment analysts at Barclays PLC initiated coverage on shares of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm set an “overweight” rating and a $52.00 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 9.98% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Monday, August 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on Baxter International from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised Baxter International from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $54.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price (up previously from $47.00) on shares of Baxter International in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on Baxter International from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.25.

Shares of Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) opened at 47.28 on Thursday. Baxter International has a one year low of $32.18 and a one year high of $49.49. The company has a market cap of $25.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.43 and a beta of 0.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $47.48 and its 200-day moving average is $44.45.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.46 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.06. Baxter International had a net margin of 47.74% and a return on equity of 10.70%. The firm earned $2.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.51 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.00 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Baxter International will post $1.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.13 per share. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st. Baxter International’s payout ratio is 5.99%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. IFP Advisors Inc increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 0.5% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 18,075 shares of the company’s stock valued at $817,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Colonial Trust Advisors increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 20.7% in the second quarter. Colonial Trust Advisors now owns 25,380 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,148,000 after buying an additional 4,350 shares during the last quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 26.6% in the second quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 32,130 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,453,000 after buying an additional 6,760 shares during the last quarter. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 51.4% in the second quarter. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. now owns 368,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,659,000 after buying an additional 124,995 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wealthfront Inc. increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 6.9% in the second quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 10,729 shares of the company’s stock valued at $485,000 after buying an additional 688 shares during the last quarter. 85.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides a portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics, and pharmacy automation, software and services.

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