Does Abbott Laboratories (ABT) offer a good opportunity for investors?

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) stock jumped 0.42% on Friday to $101.07 against a previous-day closing price of $100.65. With 5.56 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 4.67 million shares. During the session, the Medical Devices company that operates in wider Healthcare sector, reached to the highest price of $101.83 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $99.85. The 52-week range on ABT shows that it touched its highest point at $142.60 and its lowest point at $100.62 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $124.94. With its current market cap of 178.80 billion, ABT has annualized dividend of $1.88 while the current yield stands at 1.86%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.71.

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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 ABT was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -3.80%, but this was down by -4.66% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -4.84% while six-month performance fell -13.56%. The stock lost -18.92% in the past year, while it has lost -28.19% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for ABT yields 4.81 with Next year EPS estimates of 4.69. For the next quarter, that number is 0.93. This implies an EPS growth rate of 57.00% for this year and -7.01% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 11.00% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 40.70%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 1.75 billion ABT shares are outstanding with a float of 1.74 billion shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 14.22 million, which was 0.81% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Robert B. Ford as the firm’s Chairman, Pres & CEO, Mr. Robert E. Funck Jr. serves as its Exec. VP of Fin. & CFO.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 75.55% of ABT’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 41.73% of ABT, in contrast to 4.24% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 33.51%. As the largest shareholder in ABT with 8.31% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 145,537,240 shares worth 145,537,240. A second-largest stockholder of ABT, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 85,988,620 shares, controlling over 4.91% of the firm’s shares. Capital Research & Management Co is the third largest shareholder in ABT, holding 80,097,328 shares or 4.57% stake. With a 2.96% stake in ABT, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 51,837,736 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which owns about 2.23% of ABT stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 39,076,600 shares valued at 4.01 billion. American Funds Investment Company holds 1.28% of the stake in ABT, owning 22,455,408 shares worth 2.31 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for ABT since 23 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 13 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 2 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 4 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 4 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 ABT analysts setting a high price target of $150.00 and a low target of $95.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $124.39. Based on these targets, ABT could surge 48.41% to reach the target high and fall by -6.01% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 23.07% 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. ABT will report FY 2022 earnings on 01/25/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $5.39 being high and $4.90 being low. For ABT, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $5.05. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Abbott Laboratories surprised analysts by $0.30 when it reported $1.43 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.13. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.27. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.08 and the low estimate is $0.84. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.93.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded ABT stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 8 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 55,662 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 57 while that of sell transactions has risen to 82 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 904,617 while 777,851 shares were sold.

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