Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Clues to Figure Out Next Bull Run

Analysts at Citigroup cut their rating on shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) from Neutral to Sell in their opinion released on January 02. Goldman analysts bumped their recommendation on ABT stock from Neutral to Buy in a separate flash note to investors on November 30.

By watching the trading activity of corporate insiders, it will become easier to get a sense of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT)’s prospects. The earliest insider trade took place on 11/28/2018. White Miles D parted with a total of 142.34 thousand shares of company at average share price of $72.35. The total for the sales was set at $10.3 million. After this transaction, the Chairman and CEO account balance stood at 3.32 million shares. The stock lost -4.17 percent since that insider sale. On 11/28/2018, White Miles D, Chairman and CEO, sold 177.14 thousand shares at a price per share of $72.49. This removed 12.84 million shares from the insider’s fortune and the stock saw a -4.36 percent retreat in value since the news became public. This transaction left 3.14 million shares in the Chairman and CEO account. On 11/28/2018, Chairman and CEO White Miles D performed a sale transaction worth $400.57 thousand. This sale at $72.58 each has eliminated 5.52 thousand shares from the insider’s portfolio position. Meanwhile, shares have recorded -4.48 percent decrease since the transaction was reported. The insider now is left with 3.17 million shares remaining in the account. Watkin Jared, who performs the Senior Vice President job, sold 65 thousand shares for $4.62 million. The disposal occurred on 11/02/2018 was priced at $71 per share. The share price plunged -2.35 percent since the reporting date. Watkin Jared now left with a stake of 64.16 thousand ABT stock worth $4.45 million after the insider selling.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is expected to jump by 14.63 percent over the next 12 months, according to price target estimates compiled by finviz. Meanwhile, they have set a $86-month high price target. This represents a whopping 24.04 percent increase from where shares are trading today. The 12-month median price target assigned by the analysts stands at $80, which represents a return potential of 15.39 percent when compared to the closing price of the stock of $69.33 on Friday, January 11. The lowest price target for the stock is $60 — slightly more than -13.46 percent from ABT’s current share price.

The shares are currently floating around the first support level of $68.73. Below this, the next support is placed in the zone of $68.14. Till the time, the ABT stock trades above this level, bulls have nothing to fear. On momentum oscillators front, ‘RSI’ has touched 48.23 on daily chart, which may remain a cause for concern. If the price breaks below $68.14 level on closing basis, then we may see more profit booking and the stock may show further weakness. On the flipside, hitting the $69.64 mark may result into a pull-back move towards $69.96 level.

ABT shares accumulated 0.25 points or 0.36 percent on Friday to $69.33 with a light trade volume of 4.763 million shares. After opening the session at $68.6, the shares went as high as $69.36 and as low as $68.45, the range within which the stock’s price traded throughout the day. The firm is left with a market cap of $121 billion and now has 1.75 billion shares outstanding. Abbott Laboratories (ABT) stock has lost -3.49 percent of market value in 21 trading days.

ABT stock has a trailing 3-year beta of 1.2, offering the possibility of a higher rate of return, but also posing more risk. The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock was $1.32 a share in the trailing twelve months. The stock’s value has fallen -4.15 percent year to date (YTD) against a rise of 17.85 percent in 12 month’s time. The company’s shares still trade -7.46 percent away from its 1-year high of $74.92 and 24.74 percent up from 52-week low of $55.58. The average consensus rating on the company is 1.9, on a scale where 5 equates to a unanimous sell rating. In short, the mean analyst recommendations are calling this stock a buy.

Shares of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) are trading at a P/E ratio of 52.81 times earnings reported for the past 12 months. The industry ABT operates in has an average P/E of 30.69. Its P/E ratio went as low as 25.95X and as high as 55.06 over the 5-year span. Further, it is sporting a 3.99 on the Price-to-Sales ratio. Compare this with the industry average P/S of 5.95. 58 percent is the gross profit margin for Abbott Laboratories and operating margin sits at 10.2 percent. Along with this, the net profit margin is 2.9 percent.