Waverton Investment Management Ltd cut its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) by 3.6% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 54,298 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock after selling 2,022 shares during the quarter. Waverton Investment Management Ltd’s holdings in Abbott Laboratories were worth $3,927,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Woodstock Corp lifted its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 6.3% during the fourth quarter. Woodstock Corp now owns 121,248 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $8,770,000 after acquiring an additional 7,235 shares in the last quarter. HRT Financial LLC bought a new position in Abbott Laboratories during the second quarter worth about $206,000. Worldquant Millennium Quantitative Strategies LLC lifted its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 3.5% during the third quarter. Worldquant Millennium Quantitative Strategies LLC now owns 30,423 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $2,232,000 after acquiring an additional 1,018 shares in the last quarter. Brightworth lifted its holdings in Abbott Laboratories by 2.5% during the third quarter. Brightworth now owns 70,949 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $5,205,000 after acquiring an additional 1,749 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cedar Capital LLC bought a new position in Abbott Laboratories during the third quarter worth about $212,000. 72.75% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, Chairman Miles D. White sold 142,341 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.35, for a total value of $10,298,371.35. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 3,459,185 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $250,272,034.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jared Watkin sold 65,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.00, for a total value of $4,615,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 128,640 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,133,440. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

ABT traded down $0.72 on Monday, hitting $68.61. 509,356 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,115,916. Abbott Laboratories has a 12 month low of $55.58 and a 12 month high of $74.92. The firm has a market capitalization of $121.96 billion, a PE ratio of 27.44, a PEG ratio of 1.86 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a current ratio of 1.42.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 17th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.75 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.75. The business had revenue of $7.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.65 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 16.05% and a net margin of 2.91%. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that Abbott Laboratories will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be given a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 14th. This is an increase from Abbott Laboratories’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is 44.80%.

Several research analysts have weighed in on ABT shares. Cowen lifted their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $72.00 to $86.00 and gave the stock an “average” rating in a report on Friday, October 5th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Abbott Laboratories from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. UBS Group assumed coverage on Abbott Laboratories in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $83.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Abbott Laboratories from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $78.00 to $81.00 in a report on Friday, November 30th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Abbott Laboratories currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $76.86.

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About Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells health care products worldwide. The company's Established Pharmaceutical Products segment offers branded generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency; irritable bowel syndrome or biliary spasm; intrahepatic cholestasis or depressive symptoms; gynecological disorders; hormone replacement therapy; dyslipidemia; hypertension; hypothyroidism; Ménière's disease and vestibular vertigo; pain, fever, and inflammation; migraines; and anti-infective clarithromycin, as well as provides influenza vaccine and products that regulate physiological rhythm of the colon.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)

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