Novartis (NYSE:NVS) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Novartis (NYSE:NVS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $100.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Novartis’ second-quarter earnings and sales beat estimates on solid performance of key drugs like Cosentyx, Entresto and Lutathera. The Sandoz business also performed well on strong uptake of biosimilars. The increase in guidance was encouraging as well. New launches like Zolgensma and Piqray should boost performance in the second half of the year. Novartis has restructured the business to focus on becoming a core drug-focused company, powered by data and digital technologies, given the challenging business conditions. The company recently spun off its eye-care unit, Alcon, into a new company. However, the generic division, Sandoz, also suffered a blow, when the FDA issued a CRL to its generic, Advair Diskus. Generic competition for key drugs is also a concern. Shares have outperformed the industry in the year so far.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Liberum Capital raised Novartis from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Guggenheim raised Novartis from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $79.16 price objective for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on from GBX 2,300 ($30.05) to GBX 2,900 ($37.89) and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Friday, July 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $165.00 price objective on Caterpillar and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $88.24.

Shares of Novartis stock opened at $94.04 on Friday. Novartis has a one year low of $71.33 and a one year high of $95.00. The company has a market cap of $214.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.59. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $90.56. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a current ratio of 0.94 and a quick ratio of 0.74.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.14. Novartis had a return on equity of 18.55% and a net margin of 23.27%. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.29 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Novartis will post 4.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of NVS. Comerica Securities Inc. acquired a new stake in Novartis during the 4th quarter worth approximately $570,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Novartis by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,289,427 shares of the company’s stock worth $196,456,000 after purchasing an additional 15,883 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Novartis by 12.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 45,933 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,941,000 after purchasing an additional 5,027 shares in the last quarter. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC increased its position in Novartis by 25.3% during the 4th quarter. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC now owns 11,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $944,000 after purchasing an additional 2,224 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in Novartis by 40.5% during the 4th quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 54,846 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,707,000 after purchasing an additional 15,800 shares in the last quarter. 11.88% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Novartis Company Profile

Novartis AG researches, develops, manufactures, and markets healthcare products worldwide. The company's Innovative Medicines segment offers patented prescription medicines for patients and healthcare providers. It also provides ophthalmology, neuroscience, immunology, hepatology and dermatology, respiratory, cardio-metabolic, and established medicine products.

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