Novartis (NYSE:NVS) Shares Gap Up After Earnings Beat

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Friday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock had previously closed at $93.70, but opened at $94.26. Novartis shares last traded at $94.04, with a volume of 2,261,664 shares traded.

The company reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $11.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $11.45 billion. Novartis had a return on equity of 17.43% and a net margin of 23.27%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.29 earnings per share.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on NVS shares. Guggenheim raised Novartis from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.16 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Hallmark Financial Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday. Liberum Capital raised Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on from GBX 2,300 ($30.05) to GBX 2,900 ($37.89) and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $165.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Novartis has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $88.24.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Novartis by 441.6% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,016,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $602,046,000 after purchasing an additional 5,720,650 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Novartis by 407.4% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 2,525,897 shares of the company’s stock worth $242,839,000 after purchasing an additional 2,028,045 shares during the period. Primecap Management Co. CA increased its stake in shares of Novartis by 4.2% in the first quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 23,857,216 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,293,633,000 after purchasing an additional 969,985 shares during the period. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Novartis by 19.2% in the first quarter. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. now owns 5,680,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $546,138,000 after purchasing an additional 916,167 shares during the period. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC increased its stake in shares of Novartis by 52.3% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 1,255,428 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,697,000 after purchasing an additional 430,876 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 11.88% of the company’s stock.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $90.08. The firm has a market cap of $216.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.38, a P/E/G ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 0.59.

Novartis Company Profile (NYSE:NVS)

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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