Zacks Investment Research cut shares of AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “AmerisourceBergen has underperformed the industry in a year’s time. Dull performances by the company’s PharMEDium and Lash units have been a headwind over the last couple of quarters. Contraction in gross and operating margin in the last reported quarter is a concern. The company faces other headwinds like conversion of branded drugs and lower price generics. Cutthroat competition in the MedTech space adds to the woes. A narrowed EPS guidance for 2019 is worrisome as well. Moreover, AmerisourceBergen’s Memphis facility is not likely to reopen in this fiscal year. On the positive side, AmerisourceBergen exited the fiscal first quarter on a solid note, beating the consensus mark on both counts. The company continues to gain from its World Courier unit and Specialty distribution business. Additionally, AmerisourceBergen’s Global Commercialization Services and Animal Health unit have been strong.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded AmerisourceBergen from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, February 25th. TheStreet upgraded AmerisourceBergen from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. UBS Group began coverage on AmerisourceBergen in a research report on Thursday, January 17th. They set a buy rating and a $89.00 price objective for the company. Barclays reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $84.00 price objective on shares of AmerisourceBergen in a research report on Sunday, January 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on AmerisourceBergen from $88.00 to $91.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. AmerisourceBergen has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $88.33.

Shares of NYSE ABC opened at $80.18 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.43. AmerisourceBergen has a 1-year low of $69.36 and a 1-year high of $98.23. The stock has a market cap of $16.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.13.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The company reported $1.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.10. AmerisourceBergen had a return on equity of 44.53% and a net margin of 0.69%. The company had revenue of $45.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $43.52 billion. On average, research analysts expect that AmerisourceBergen will post 6.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 4th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were given a dividend of $0.40 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 15th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.00%. AmerisourceBergen’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.65%.

In other news, insider Dale Danilewitz sold 5,703 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $86.80, for a total transaction of $495,020.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,960 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $777,728. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider John G. Chou sold 6,974 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.99, for a total value of $536,928.26. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 58,759 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,523,855.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 109,862 shares of company stock valued at $8,934,873. Insiders own 27.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABC. Acima Private Wealth LLC acquired a new stake in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the 4th quarter valued at about $26,000. Private Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 201.3% in the 4th quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 482 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 322 shares during the period. JNBA Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the 4th quarter valued at about $37,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 6,614.4% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,448,589 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,000 after purchasing an additional 3,397,228 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the 4th quarter valued at about $54,000. 66.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AmerisourceBergen Company Profile

AmerisourceBergen Corporation sources and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States and internationally. Its Pharmaceutical Distribution segment distributes brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter healthcare products, home healthcare supplies and equipment, outsourced compounded sterile preparations, and related services to various healthcare providers, including acute care hospitals and health systems, independent and chain retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, medical clinics, long-term care and other alternate site pharmacies, and other customers.

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Analyst Recommendations for AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC)

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