This trade activity should not be overlooked: Baxter International Inc. (BAX)

Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) stock fell -1.96% on Friday to $55.47 against a previous-day closing price of $56.58. With 1.89 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 3.04 million shares. During the session, the Medical Instruments & Supplies company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $57.09 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $55.45. The 52-week range on BAX shows that it touched its highest point at $89.70 and its lowest point at $54.45 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $70.58. With its current market cap of 28.31 billion, BAX has annualized dividend of $1.16 while the current yield stands at 2.09%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.60.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of BAX was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -6.16%, but this was down by -7.04% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -14.33% while six-month performance fell -28.89%. The stock lost -32.31% in the past year, while it has lost -35.38% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for BAX yields 2.00 with Next year EPS estimates of 3.87. For the next quarter, that number is 0.82. This implies an EPS growth rate of 18.60% for this year and 6.53% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 8.41% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of -22.50%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 504.00 million BAX shares are outstanding with a float of 502.58 million shares on hand for trading. On Aug 30, 2022, short shares totaled 5.09 million, which was 1.01% higher than short shares on Jul 28, 2022. In addition to Mr. Jose E. Almeida as the firm’s Chairman, Pres & CEO, Mr. James K. Saccaro serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 89.24% of BAX’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 6.58% of BAX, in contrast to 50.10% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 37.43%. As the largest shareholder in BAX with 12.29% of the stake, Wellington Management Co. LLP holds 61,887,205 shares worth 61,887,205. A second-largest stockholder of BAX, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 38,704,699 shares, controlling over 7.69% of the firm’s shares. BlackRock Fund Advisors is the third largest shareholder in BAX, holding 27,144,463 shares or 5.39% stake. With a 3.29% stake in BAX, the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund is the largest stakeholder. A total of 16,576,448 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, which owns about 2.96% of BAX stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 14,913,764 shares valued at 856.94 million. Morgan Stanley Invt. Fds. – Globa holds 2.36% of the stake in BAX, owning 11,877,907 shares worth 682.5 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for BAX since 15 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 9 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 1 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 3 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With BAX analysts setting a high price target of $77.00 and a low target of $60.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $68.67. Based on these targets, BAX could surge 38.81% to reach the target high and rise by 8.17% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 23.8% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. BAX will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/02/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $3.66 being high and $3.57 being low. For BAX, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $3.62. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Baxter International Inc. surprised analysts by -$0.00 when it reported $0.87 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.87. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.13. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.90 and the low estimate is $0.79. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.82.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded BAX stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 1 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 4,649 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 55 while that of sell transactions has risen to 28 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 355,322 while 139,449 shares were sold.

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