Novartis (NYSE:NVS) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Novartis (NYSE:NVS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $100.00 target price on the stock.

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

NYSE:NVS opened at $93.56 on Friday. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $90.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $214.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 0.59. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.83 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Novartis has a 52 week low of $71.33 and a 52 week high of $95.00.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last posted 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. The business had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $11.45 billion. Novartis had a net margin of 23.27% and a return on equity of 17.43%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.29 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts expect that Novartis will post 4.99 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Truvestments Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis during the 1st quarter worth $25,000. Canton Hathaway LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis during the 1st quarter worth $26,000. Harvest Group Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis during the 1st quarter worth $27,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis during the 1st quarter worth $33,000. Finally, Executive Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Novartis during the 4th quarter worth $36,000. 11.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Further Reading: P/E Growth (PEG)

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