Abaxis (ABAX) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $93.00 price objective on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, Abaxis has been outperforming its industry. A year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 revenues buoys optimism on the stock. We are upbeat about the company’s solid consumable and instrument sales growth along with strength in the medical and veterinary market segments. Further, we are impressed with the company’s initiation of new sales and marketing strategies. In this regard, Abaxis has received an encouraging response for its recently-launched products like the urine sediment analyzer and FLEX4 Rapid assay. The company plans additional launches in fiscal 2019, expected to drive growth for the company. On the flip side, rising expenses along with a weak gross and operating margin scenario raise concerns of late. Challenges like competitive bidding continue to hurt the stock. This apart, valuation remains stretched.”

Several other research firms also recently weighed in on ABAX. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on shares of Abaxis from $57.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, April 27th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Abaxis from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. Sidoti reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Abaxis in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Abaxis from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Abaxis has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $67.00.

Abaxis opened at $83.01 on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports. Abaxis has a 12-month low of $43.66 and a 12-month high of $83.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.90 billion, a PE ratio of 64.35, a PEG ratio of 5.14 and a beta of 1.25.

Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The medical research company reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.10. Abaxis had a net margin of 11.11% and a return on equity of 10.65%. The business had revenue of $67.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $66.02 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.33 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Abaxis will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Investors of record on Friday, June 1st were issued a $0.18 dividend. This is a boost from Abaxis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 31st. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.87%. Abaxis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 55.81%.

In related news, Director Prithipal Singh sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.31, for a total value of $1,666,200.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 38,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,199,104. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Achim Henkel sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.06, for a total transaction of $408,360.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 83,344 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,672,392.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 35,533 shares of company stock worth $2,865,968. 4.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABAX. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Abaxis by 11.7% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,159,985 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $223,158,000 after purchasing an additional 331,135 shares in the last quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. acquired a new stake in Abaxis during the first quarter worth approximately $13,568,000. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Abaxis by 4.2% during the first quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 3,817,222 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $269,573,000 after purchasing an additional 153,582 shares in the last quarter. Pier Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Abaxis during the first quarter worth approximately $6,054,000. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Abaxis during the first quarter worth approximately $5,756,000. 93.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Abaxis Company Profile

Abaxis, Inc develops, manufactures, markets, and sells portable blood analysis systems for use in human or veterinary patient care settings to provide rapid blood constituent measurements for clinicians worldwide. It operates in two segments, Medical Market and Veterinary Market. The company offers Piccolo chemistry analyzers with rapid blood constituent measurements for use in human patient care; and Piccolo profiles that are single-use medical reagents.

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