Zacks Investment Research Lowers Novartis (NYSE:NVS) to Hold

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports. They currently have a $100.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 6.88% from the stock’s previous close.

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.”

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

Shares of NVS opened at $93.56 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.83. Novartis has a one year low of $71.33 and a one year high of $95.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $214.65 billion, a PE ratio of 18.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.59. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $90.08.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The company reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.14. Novartis had a return on equity of 17.43% and a net margin of 23.27%. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.29 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that Novartis will post 4.99 EPS for the current year.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Truvestments Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Novartis in the 1st quarter valued at $25,000. Canton Hathaway LLC purchased a new stake in Novartis in the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Novartis in the 1st quarter valued at $27,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new stake in Novartis in the 1st quarter valued at $33,000. Finally, Executive Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Novartis in the 4th quarter valued at $36,000. Institutional investors own 11.88% of the company’s stock.

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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