Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 2.1% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 18,871 shares of the company’s stock after selling 408 shares during the period. Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Novartis were worth $1,814,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the business. Truvestments Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 1st quarter worth $25,000. Canton Hathaway LLC bought a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 1st quarter worth $26,000. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 1st quarter worth $27,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 1st quarter worth $33,000. Finally, AlphaMark Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Novartis in the 4th quarter worth $30,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 11.80% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:NVS opened at $89.42 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. The stock has a market capitalization of $206.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.57, a P/E/G ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.56. Novartis AG has a fifty-two week low of $63.60 and a fifty-two week high of $90.21.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $11.11 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.76 billion. Novartis had a net margin of 24.55% and a return on equity of 16.75%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.28 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Novartis AG will post 5.01 EPS for the current year.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on NVS shares. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $82.50 to $82.52 in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Novartis from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.16 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, Liberum Capital upgraded shares of Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $87.57.

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About Novartis

Novartis AG researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company's Innovative Medicines segment offers patented prescription medicines for patients and healthcare providers. It also provides ophthalmology, neuroscience, immunology, hepatology and dermatology, respiratory, cardio-metabolic, and established medicine products.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Novartis (NYSE:NVS)

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