National Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 8.0% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 5,098 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 379 shares during the quarter. National Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Novartis were worth $491,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC boosted its stake in Novartis by 12.2% during the first quarter. HighPoint Advisor Group LLC now owns 3,981 shares of the company’s stock worth $322,000 after buying an additional 434 shares during the period. Boyer & Corporon Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Novartis by 0.6% during the first quarter. Boyer & Corporon Wealth Management LLC now owns 37,193 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,576,000 after buying an additional 213 shares during the period. Strategy Asset Managers LLC purchased a new position in Novartis during the first quarter worth $58,000. Tdam USA Inc. boosted its stake in Novartis by 21.9% during the first quarter. Tdam USA Inc. now owns 4,176 shares of the company’s stock worth $401,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the period. Finally, DDD Partners LLC boosted its stake in Novartis by 1.1% during the first quarter. DDD Partners LLC now owns 103,555 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,956,000 after buying an additional 1,146 shares during the period. 11.82% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Several research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $82.50 to $82.52 in a research note on Wednesday, April 10th. Guggenheim raised shares of Novartis from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.16 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Novartis in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, Liberum Capital raised 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, four have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $87.57.

NYSE:NVS opened at $87.52 on Friday. Novartis AG has a twelve month low of $63.60 and a twelve month high of $85.08. The firm has a market cap of $202.17 billion, a PE ratio of 17.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 0.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $1.21 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.11 by $0.10. Novartis had a return on equity of 16.75% and a net margin of 24.55%. The business had revenue of $11.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.76 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.28 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Novartis AG will post 5 earnings per share for the current year.

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Novartis Profile

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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