Novartis AG (NVS) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “2017 is a challenging year for the company. Novartis’ eye care division, Alcon, is facing weakness due to lower surgical equipments sales owing to intense competition faced by intraocular lens and a slowdown in demand for equipment purchases. Hence, Novartis is mulling strategic options for Alcon which includes retaining the business to separation via a capital markets transaction such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company will throw light on its plans for Alcon later in 2017. The company is also facing generic competition for some of its key drugs. Nevertheless, we are impressed by the progress in biosimilars portfolio. The company is, however, facing significant pricing pressures in the U.S. due to a delay in the launch of Glatopa 40mg which in turn will impact the second-quarter results. Shares of the company have underperformed the industry.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Novartis AG from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $85.99 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, March 15th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research report on Wednesday, March 22nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Morgan Stanley reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Novartis AG in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Cowen and Company cut shares of Novartis AG from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $87.00 to $77.00 in a research report on Wednesday, April 5th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $82.99.

Novartis AG (NVS) opened at 82.32 on Monday. Novartis AG has a 52 week low of $66.93 and a 52 week high of $86.90. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $81.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $76.18. The stock has a market cap of $194.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.95 and a beta of 0.73.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The company reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.03. Novartis AG had a net margin of 13.10% and a return on equity of 15.46%. The firm had revenue of $11.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.59 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.17 earnings per share. Novartis AG’s quarterly revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Novartis AG will post $4.72 EPS for the current year.

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In other Novartis AG news, major shareholder Bioventures Ltd Novartis bought 266,667 shares of Novartis AG stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 5th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $4,000,005.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 0.01% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dodge & Cox acquired a new stake in shares of Novartis AG during the fourth quarter worth approximately $3,330,137,000. Primecap Management Co. CA boosted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 2.1% in the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 21,693,804 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,611,199,000 after buying an additional 446,976 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 12.2% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 9,100,801 shares of the company’s stock worth $675,917,000 after buying an additional 988,301 shares during the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA boosted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 89.4% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 8,173,974 shares of the company’s stock worth $593,720,000 after buying an additional 3,858,632 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE boosted its stake in shares of Novartis AG by 7.5% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,328,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $544,304,000 after buying an additional 508,435 shares during the last quarter. 11.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Novartis AG

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

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