Copeland Capital Management LLC grew its stake in ABAXIS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) by 2.1% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 334,392 shares of the medical research company’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,012 shares during the quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC owned 1.47% of ABAXIS worth $14,931,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 40,515 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,965,000 after acquiring an additional 280 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 61.4% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 7,349 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $390,000 after acquiring an additional 2,795 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE increased its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 40,780 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $2,162,000 after acquiring an additional 1,584 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 5.2% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 100,590 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $5,334,000 after acquiring an additional 4,963 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of ABAXIS by 132,779.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,689,490 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $130,442,000 after acquiring an additional 2,687,466 shares during the last quarter. 96.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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A number of brokerages have recently commented on ABAX. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target (up from $46.00) on shares of ABAXIS in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Zacks Investment Research cut ABAXIS from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Bank of America Corporation lowered their price target on ABAXIS from $42.00 to $39.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. BidaskClub cut ABAXIS from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of ABAXIS in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.63.

Shares of ABAXIS, Inc. (ABAX) traded down 0.31% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $48.25. The company had a trading volume of 1,625 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $45.92 and a 200 day moving average of $48.18. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.07 and a beta of 0.82. ABAXIS, Inc. has a 12-month low of $43.66 and a 12-month high of $55.95.

ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $58.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.85 million. ABAXIS had a return on equity of 10.18% and a net margin of 11.98%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.34 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that ABAXIS, Inc. will post $1.10 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. This is an increase from ABAXIS’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.32%. ABAXIS’s payout ratio is currently 46.67%.

ABAXIS announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 24th that permits the company to buyback $21.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the medical research company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

ABAXIS Profile

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX)

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