Zacks Investment Research Lowers AmerisourceBergen (ABC) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “AmerisourceBergen’s dull performances in the PharMEDium and Lash unit have been a headwind in the last couple of quarters. Contraction in gross and operating margin in the last reported quarter raises concern. The company faces other headwinds like conversion of branded drugs and lower price generics. Cutthroat competition in the MedTech space adds to the woes. On the brighter side, the company continues to gain from, businesses like World Courier and Xcenda which have been raking in huge profits since quite some time. The company’s specialty distribution business also continues to contribute significantly to its topline. Additionally, AmerisourceBergen’s Global Commercialization Services and Animal Health unit saw a strong fourth quarter. A positive guidance for 2019 buoys optimism. AmerisourceBergen has outperformed the industry in a year’s time. “

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on ABC. Mizuho reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of AmerisourceBergen in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. ValuEngine raised AmerisourceBergen from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their target price on AmerisourceBergen from $90.00 to $87.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on AmerisourceBergen from $88.00 to $91.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a report on Monday, December 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $101.36.

Shares of NYSE ABC opened at $84.32 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $18.22 billion, a PE ratio of 12.99, a P/E/G ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.50 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. AmerisourceBergen has a 52 week low of $77.28 and a 52 week high of $106.27.

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 6th. The company reported $1.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.44 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $43.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $43.27 billion. AmerisourceBergen had a return on equity of 45.54% and a net margin of 0.99%. The company’s revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.33 EPS. Research analysts expect that AmerisourceBergen will post 6.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 3rd. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th were given a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 16th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.90%. This is an increase from AmerisourceBergen’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. AmerisourceBergen’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 24.65%.

In other AmerisourceBergen news, EVP Kathy H. Gaddes sold 2,652 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.79, for a total value of $238,123.08. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 3,891 shares in the company, valued at approximately $349,372.89. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Steven H. Collis sold 21,350 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.92, for a total value of $1,898,442.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 142,753 shares of company stock valued at $12,826,784 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 27.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Capital Wealth Planning LLC lifted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 412.1% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Wealth Planning LLC now owns 12,577 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,072,000 after acquiring an additional 10,121 shares during the period. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. now owns 176,274 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,256,000 after acquiring an additional 600 shares during the period. Sio Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of AmerisourceBergen in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,180,000. Intrepid Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 7.1% in the 2nd quarter. Intrepid Capital Management Inc. now owns 157,485 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,429,000 after acquiring an additional 10,495 shares during the period. Finally, Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its position in shares of AmerisourceBergen by 14.8% in the 2nd quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 132,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,337,000 after acquiring an additional 17,141 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 64.58% of the company’s stock.

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen Corporation sources and distributes pharmaceutical products in the United States and internationally. Its Pharmaceutical Distribution segment distributes brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter healthcare products, home healthcare supplies and equipment, outsourced compounded sterile preparations, and related services to various healthcare providers, including acute care hospitals and health systems, independent and chain retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, medical clinics, long-term care and other alternate site pharmacies, and other customers.

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