Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $100.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “AbbVie’s key drug, Humira has been performing well based on strong demand trends despite new competition. Moreover, Imbruvica has multibillion dollar potential. Mavyret’s launch has also been stronger than expected. AbbVie has also been successful in expanding approvals for its cancer drugs, Imbruvica and Venclexta. Moreover, AbbVie has an impressive late-stage pipeline comprising several products with multibillion-dollar potential expected to be launched in the near term. AbbVie expects to launch more than 20 new products or line extensions of marketed drugs before Humira biosimilar competition begins in the United States in 2023. AbbVie’s shares have outperformed the industry in the past one month. However, direct biosimilar competition to Humira in Europe from October can erode revenues in 2019. Nonetheless, estimates have gone up ahead of Q4 earnings. AbbVie has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ABBV. Bank of America cut AbbVie from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, January 3rd. Standpoint Research started coverage on AbbVie in a report on Wednesday, December 26th. They set a buy rating for the company. SunTrust Banks reduced their price objective on AbbVie from $157.00 to $135.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $85.00 price objective on AbbVie and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Saturday, October 20th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on AbbVie in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set an underperform rating for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $102.10.

Shares of ABBV traded down $0.23 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $87.97. The stock had a trading volume of 122,851 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,505,003. AbbVie has a twelve month low of $77.50 and a twelve month high of $125.86. The company has a market capitalization of $132.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.72, a P/E/G ratio of 0.73 and a beta of 1.46.

AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The company reported $2.14 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.01 by $0.13. AbbVie had a return on equity of 2,006.63% and a net margin of 23.50%. The business had revenue of $8.24 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.41 earnings per share. AbbVie’s quarterly revenue was up 17.7% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts expect that AbbVie will post 7.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be issued a dividend of $1.07 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 14th. This is an increase from AbbVie’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.96. This represents a $4.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.87%. AbbVie’s dividend payout ratio is 68.57%.

AbbVie declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, December 13th that authorizes the company to buyback $5.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other AbbVie news, insider Laura J. Schumacher sold 94,140 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.58, for a total transaction of $8,809,621.20. Following the sale, the insider now owns 192,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,004,604.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Henry O. Gosebruch sold 42,450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.10, for a total transaction of $3,824,745.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,350 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,734,535. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 263,440 shares of company stock valued at $24,029,804 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ABBV. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 118,762,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,232,540,000 after acquiring an additional 912,625 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 0.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 118,762,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,232,540,000 after acquiring an additional 912,625 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors raised its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 266.4% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 27,594,648 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,609,902,000 after acquiring an additional 20,063,435 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors raised its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 74.9% in the 3rd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 25,359,025 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,398,457,000 after acquiring an additional 10,858,432 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of AbbVie by 2.5% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 15,879,753 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,501,907,000 after acquiring an additional 382,597 shares during the last quarter. 69.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About AbbVie

AbbVie Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. The company offers HUMIRA, a therapy administered as an injection for autoimmune diseases; IMBRUVICA, an oral therapy for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia; and VIEKIRA PAK, an interferon-free therapy to treat adults with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C.

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