Comerica Bank lowered its holdings in Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX) by 15.7% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 124,858 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 23,255 shares during the period. Comerica Bank’s holdings in Baxter International were worth $8,771,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL increased its stake in Baxter International by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL now owns 15,493 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,020,000 after acquiring an additional 1,004 shares during the period. First Financial Corp IN increased its stake in Baxter International by 11.9% in the fourth quarter. First Financial Corp IN now owns 1,875 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $124,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the period. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in Baxter International by 35.0% in the third quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 312,010 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $24,053,000 after acquiring an additional 80,919 shares during the period. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Baxter International by 198.3% in the third quarter. Atlas Capital Advisors LLC now owns 7,932 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $602,000 after acquiring an additional 5,273 shares during the period. Finally, Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. increased its stake in Baxter International by 18.0% in the third quarter. Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Co Ltd. now owns 43,055 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $3,319,000 after acquiring an additional 6,565 shares during the period. 84.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, Director Thomas T. Stallkamp sold 1,638 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.75, for a total transaction of $120,802.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Jeanne K. Mason sold 37,274 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total transaction of $2,683,728.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 8,055,348 shares of company stock worth $552,892,722. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on BAX. Barclays raised shares of Baxter International from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and upped their target price for the company from $67.00 to $72.00 in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on shares of Baxter International from $72.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Baxter International in a research note on Tuesday, November 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 target price on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $76.41.

NYSE:BAX opened at $73.43 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.08, a PEG ratio of 1.82 and a beta of 0.99. Baxter International Inc has a 12 month low of $61.05 and a 12 month high of $78.38. The company has a current ratio of 2.60, a quick ratio of 1.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.84 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.80 billion. Baxter International had a net margin of 14.60% and a return on equity of 18.46%. Research analysts predict that Baxter International Inc will post 3.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Baxter International declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, November 13th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to repurchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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Baxter International Profile

Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.

Further Reading: Debt-To-Equity Ratio

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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