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Interpreting the Analyst Recommendations for Abbott Laboratories

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Jan. 12 2016, Updated 3:33 a.m. ET

Abbott Laboratories’ analyst recommendations

Based on recommendations received from 25 broker firms in a Bloomberg survey, the consensus rating for Abbott Laboratories was “buy” from 72%, or 18 firms, “hold” from 28%, or 7 firms, and “sell” from none.

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Mostly positive ratings

The table above lists the 15 brokerage firms that provided a target price for Abbott Laboratories (ABT) over the next 12 months. The consensus 12-month target price for Abbott Laboratories was $51.53, amounting to a 15% return, compared to Abbott’s last price of $44.81 on December 15, 2015.

The majority of the surveyed firms gave positive ratings to Abbott Laboratories as the company has a diversified product portfolio and well-balanced consumer mix. The company dominates the nutritional products market and has a high exposure to rapidly growing emerging markets.

Abbott Laboratories has registered strong top line as well as bottom line performance, especially in markets outside the United States. Additionally, Abbott Laboratories has gradually built up its presence across diverse segments like electrophysiology through acquisitions, and the company has made various strategic sales of low profit or loss making divisions for operational efficiency and the growth of the company.

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Peer firm recommendations

Based on recommendations received from 23 broker firms in a Bloomberg survey, the consensus rating for Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was “buy” from 52.2% of firms, “hold” from 43.5% of firms, and “sell” from 4.3% of firms. Bloomberg surveyed brokerage firms for Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) as well. Boston Scientific was rated “buy” by 79.3% of firms and “hold” by 20.7% of firms.

Based on recommendations received from 26 brokerage firms in a Bloomberg survey, the consensus rating for Medtronic (MDT) was “buy” from 76.9% of firms and “hold” from 23.1% of firms.

ETFs with exposure to Abbott Laboratories

Investors seeking exposure to Abbott Laboratories (ABT) can invest in the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV), which has 2.1% of its total holdings in ABT. The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) is a major dividend ETF that tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. ABT accounts for around 1.1% of SDY’s total holdings. Investors can also gain exposure to ABT through the iShares US Healthcare ETF (IYH), which has 2.4% of its total holdings in the company.

For more on Abbott Laboratories, its related ETFs, and its peers in the healthcare sector, check out Market Realist’s Healthcare page.

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