Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) saw a large decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 17,643,435 shares, a decrease of 15.4% from the August 15th total of 20,854,591 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,407,968 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 5.2 days. Currently, 3.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) opened at 47.92 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $26.06 billion, a PE ratio of 5.50 and a beta of 0.64. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $47.27 and a 200 day moving average of $44.73. Baxter International has a 12 month low of $32.18 and a 12 month high of $49.49.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the 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 company had revenue of $2.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.51 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.00 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Baxter International will post $1.73 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be issued a $0.13 dividend. This represents a $0.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 31st. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 5.99%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BAX. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 4.1% in the second quarter. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A now owns 1,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 68 shares during the last quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 1.1% in the first quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 7,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $289,000 after buying an additional 77 shares during the last quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 1.9% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 4,333 shares of the company’s stock valued at $196,000 after buying an additional 81 shares during the last quarter. 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. Finally, Cleararc Capital Inc. increased its position in shares of Baxter International by 1.0% in the second quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 12,530 shares of the company’s stock valued at $567,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. 84.79% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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

About Baxter International

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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