Azimuth Capital Management LLC trimmed its position in Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) by 0.8% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 154,639 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 1,310 shares during the quarter. Azimuth Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Baxter International were worth $10,058,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in BAX. Fisher Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Baxter International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $219,000. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. increased its holdings in Baxter International by 120.9% in the 4th quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 44,538 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $2,879,000 after acquiring an additional 24,374 shares in the last quarter. IFG Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Baxter International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $307,000. LMR Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Baxter International in the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,804,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its holdings in Baxter International by 14.8% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 322,748 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $20,862,000 after acquiring an additional 41,592 shares in the last quarter. 83.54% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In related news, SVP Brik V. Eyre sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.96, for a total value of $1,799,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 128,777 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,266,792.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Brik V. Eyre sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.57, for a total transaction of $1,411,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 85,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,006,565.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 74,104 shares of company stock valued at $5,137,706. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.08. Baxter International had a net margin of 7.75% and a return on equity of 15.70%. The firm had revenue of $2.68 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.62 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.58 earnings per share. Baxter International’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Baxter International will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current year.
Baxter International declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, February 20th that allows the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the medical instruments supplier to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st will be issued a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 31st. This is a positive change from Baxter International’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 25.81%.
A number of brokerages have issued reports on BAX. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Baxter International in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Baxter International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday. Bank of America increased their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $73.00 to $83.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $70.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, April 30th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Baxter International from $71.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 30th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.25.
Baxter International Profile
Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.
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