Airain ltd increased its stake in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 13.9% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 93,209 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 11,378 shares during the period. Airain ltd’s holdings in Novartis AG were worth $6,923,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Howe & Rusling Inc. increased its position in Novartis AG by 192.2% in the first quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 1,341 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,000 after buying an additional 882 shares during the last quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. increased its position in Novartis AG by 20.0% in the first quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 1,381 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. increased its position in Novartis AG by 50.3% in the first quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 1,526 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 511 shares during the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Novartis AG during the fourth quarter valued at $116,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation increased its position in Novartis AG by 21.0% in the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 1,656 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 287 shares during the last quarter. 11.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) opened at 80.83 on Friday. Novartis AG has a 52 week low of $66.93 and a 52 week high of $83.58. The company’s 50-day moving average is $80.16 and its 200 day moving average is $75.15. The stock has a market cap of $191.21 billion, a PE ratio of 30.39 and a beta of 0.76.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The company reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.03. Novartis AG had a net margin of 13.10% and a return on equity of 15.46%. The company had revenue of $11.54 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.17 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Novartis AG will post $4.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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NVS has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Novartis AG from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Vetr upgraded shares of Novartis AG from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $85.99 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Wednesday, March 22nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. Finally, BNP Paribas downgraded shares of Novartis AG from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 7th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Novartis AG has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $83.12.

About Novartis AG

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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