Country Trust Bank decreased its position in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) by 11.5% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 359,763 shares of the company’s stock after selling 46,913 shares during the period. Novartis accounts for about 1.5% of Country Trust Bank’s portfolio, making the stock its 19th largest position. Country Trust Bank’s holdings in Novartis were worth $34,588,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Dodge & Cox increased its stake in Novartis by 0.5% during the 3rd quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 44,361,387 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,822,177,000 after buying an additional 229,525 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Novartis by 223.5% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,439,298 shares of the company’s stock worth $981,607,000 after buying an additional 7,902,964 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its stake in Novartis by 25.1% during the 4th quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 9,053,828 shares of the company’s stock worth $776,909,000 after buying an additional 1,817,005 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Novartis by 2.5% during the 4th quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 7,609,632 shares of the company’s stock worth $652,983,000 after buying an additional 184,555 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Partners increased its stake in Novartis by 26.1% during the 4th quarter. Boston Partners now owns 7,046,794 shares of the company’s stock worth $604,685,000 after buying an additional 1,459,845 shares during the period. 11.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on NVS shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Novartis from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Novartis to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Novartis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $96.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut shares of Novartis from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $82.50 to $82.52 in a report on Wednesday, April 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Novartis presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $89.25.
Novartis (NYSE:NVS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.09). Novartis had a net margin of 24.30% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The company had revenue of $13.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.33 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.21 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Novartis AG will post 5.1 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, major shareholder Bioventures Ltd Novartis sold 43,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1.92, for a total transaction of $84,096.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 870,195 shares of company stock valued at $1,062,051. 0.01% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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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