Baxter International (BAX) Sets New 1-Year High at $78.45

Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $78.45 and last traded at $78.45, with a volume of 2104311 shares. The stock had previously closed at $77.18.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on BAX. Zacks Investment Research raised Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $86.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Baxter International from $80.00 to $83.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 5th. Barclays raised Baxter International from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $67.00 to $72.00 in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Baxter International in a research report on Friday, February 1st. Finally, Citigroup raised Baxter International from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $69.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $77.31.

The company has a quick ratio of 1.50, a current ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.00.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 31st. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.73 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.84 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.80 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 19.10% and a net margin of 14.60%. On average, analysts anticipate that Baxter International Inc will post 3.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 28th. Baxter International’s dividend payout ratio is currently 24.92%.

In other news, Director Thomas T. Stallkamp sold 1,000 shares of Baxter International stock in a transaction on Friday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.16, for a total value of $75,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 6,780 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $509,584.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Giuseppe Accogli sold 38,297 shares of Baxter International stock in a transaction on Monday, March 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.78, for a total value of $2,940,443.66. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 70,001 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,374,676.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 82,896 shares of company stock valued at $6,157,104. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. LSV Asset Management purchased a new stake in Baxter International during the third quarter valued at about $1,623,000. MML Investors Services LLC grew its position in Baxter International by 57.1% during the third quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 30,857 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $2,379,000 after acquiring an additional 11,212 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. grew its position in Baxter International by 147.0% during the third quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 3,544 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $273,000 after acquiring an additional 2,109 shares during the period. National Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Baxter International during the third quarter valued at about $259,000. Finally, AXA lifted its stake in shares of Baxter International by 59.7% during the third quarter. AXA now owns 397,855 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock worth $30,671,000 after purchasing an additional 148,800 shares in the last quarter. 84.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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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