Investors Buy High Volume of Abbott Laboratories Call Options (NYSE:ABT)

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) was the target of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Traders purchased 10,515 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 419% compared to the average daily volume of 2,026 call options.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on ABT shares. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Abbott Laboratories in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. TheStreet raised Abbott Laboratories from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Abbott Laboratories from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on Abbott Laboratories from $49.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.93.

In other news, insider Jared Watkin sold 552 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.97, for a total transaction of $26,479.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 47,090 shares in the company, valued at $2,258,907.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Sharon J. Bracken sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.16, for a total value of $98,320.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 28,806 shares in the company, valued at $1,416,102.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 218,702 shares of company stock valued at $10,149,733. 0.76% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABT. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 1.6% in the second quarter. Sullivan Bruyette Speros & Blaney LLC now owns 18,052 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $878,000 after buying an additional 278 shares during the last quarter. Motco increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 213.7% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 2,880 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 1,962 shares during the last quarter. Homrich & Berg increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 31.7% in the second quarter. Homrich & Berg now owns 8,480 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $412,000 after buying an additional 2,039 shares during the last quarter. Allen Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Abbott Laboratories by 45.3% in the second quarter. Allen Investment Management LLC now owns 11,627 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock worth $565,000 after buying an additional 3,627 shares during the last quarter. Finally, QCI Asset Management Inc. NY increased its stake in shares of Abbott Laboratories by 4.2% in the second quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 248,296 shares of the healthcare product maker’s stock valued at $12,070,000 after buying an additional 10,099 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.98% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) traded down 0.85% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.88. The company had a trading volume of 3,389,663 shares. Abbott Laboratories has a 52 week low of $37.38 and a 52 week high of $51.13. The company has a market capitalization of $84.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 68.46 and a beta of 1.07. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $49.10 and a 200-day moving average of $45.36.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The healthcare product maker reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $6.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.63 billion. Abbott Laboratories had a return on equity of 3.44% and a net margin of 4.07%. Abbott Laboratories’s revenue was up 24.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.55 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Abbott Laboratories will post $2.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.265 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 12th. This represents a $1.06 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Abbott Laboratories’s payout ratio is 149.30%.

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Abbott Laboratories Company Profile

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of a range of healthcare products. The Company operates through four segments: Established Pharmaceutical Products, Diagnostic Products, Nutritional Products and Vascular Products. Its Established Pharmaceutical Products include a range of branded generic pharmaceuticals manufactured around the world and marketed and sold outside the United States.

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