Independent Investors Inc. reduced its holdings in shares of Baxter International Inc (NYSE:BAX) by 1.9% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 31,200 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock after selling 600 shares during the quarter. Baxter International accounts for about 0.9% of Independent Investors Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 29th biggest holding. Independent Investors Inc.’s holdings in Baxter International were worth $2,053,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Baxter International by 267.9% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 10,570,520 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $814,880,000 after purchasing an additional 7,697,267 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its position in Baxter International by 25.6% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 28,637,027 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $2,114,558,000 after purchasing an additional 5,845,720 shares during the last quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc raised its position in Baxter International by 121.2% in the third quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 5,743,738 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $442,813,000 after purchasing an additional 3,146,868 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its position in Baxter International by 40,097.9% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,878,850 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $144,841,000 after purchasing an additional 1,874,176 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its position in Baxter International by 102.2% in the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,447,814 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $111,612,000 after purchasing an additional 731,914 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.28% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Baxter International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $87.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 25th. ValuEngine downgraded Baxter International from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Baxter International in a research report on Monday, December 17th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $77.00 target price for the company. Citigroup upgraded Baxter International from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the company from $69.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Wednesday, January 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada dropped their target price on Baxter International from $76.00 to $70.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Baxter International has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $76.00.

Shares of BAX stock opened at $66.81 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.72 billion, a PE ratio of 26.94, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a quick ratio of 1.96, a current ratio of 2.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38. Baxter International Inc has a 1-year low of $61.05 and a 1-year high of $78.38.

Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The medical instruments supplier reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.79 billion. Baxter International had a return on equity of 17.67% and a net margin of 10.90%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.64 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Baxter International Inc will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 3rd were paid a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 30th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. Baxter International’s payout ratio is 30.65%.

Baxter International announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, November 13th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the medical instruments supplier to buy up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Carole J. Shapazian sold 11,749 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.48, for a total value of $804,571.52. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 15,237 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,043,429.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director John D. Forsyth sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.02, for a total value of $100,530.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 31,640 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,120,512.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 8,013,249 shares of company stock valued at $549,865,102. Insiders own 0.07% of the company’s stock.

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Baxter International Company Profile

Baxter International Inc provides a portfolio of healthcare products. The company operates through North and South America; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia-Pacific segments. It offers peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, and additional dialysis therapies and services; renal replacement therapies and other organ support therapies focused in the intensive care unit; sterile intravenous (IV) solutions, IV therapies, infusion pumps, administration sets, and drug reconstitution devices; and parenteral nutrition therapies.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Baxter International (NYSE:BAX)

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