ABAXIS, Inc. (ABAX) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

ABAXIS, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABAX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Monday, July 31st.

According to Zacks, “Abaxis started off fiscal 2018 on a disappointing note with first quarter earnings and revenues both missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, a year-over-year increase in revenues buoys optimism. We are looking forward to improved consumable revenues that boosted veterinary sales performance at Abaxis during the quarter. Meanwhile, we are encouraged to note that the company is emphasizing on new product innovations through research and development. Abaxis plans additional product launches in fiscal 2018, including the VetScan FUSE connectivity system.  On the flip side, the company's valuation remains stretched. Challenges like competitive bidding and foreign exchange headwind continue to hurt the stock. Rising operating expenses and a weak operating margin are other major woes for the company. Overall, in the last three months, Abaxis has been trading below the broader industry.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Aegis assumed coverage on ABAXIS in a research report on Friday, June 9th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $56.50 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of ABAXIS in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. ABAXIS has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.88.

ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX) traded up 1.88% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $46.65. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 136,857 shares. ABAXIS has a 1-year low of $44.12 and a 1-year high of $55.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.94 and a beta of 0.81. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $50.43 and a 200 day moving average of $49.39.

ABAXIS (NASDAQ:ABAX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The medical research company reported $0.28 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.05. ABAXIS had a return on equity of 10.85% and a net margin of 14.12%. The firm had revenue of $58.26 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $60.37 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.30 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that ABAXIS will post $1.13 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, insider Achim Henkel sold 650 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.87, for a total transaction of $31,765.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 58,950 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,880,886.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 4.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of ABAXIS by 132,779.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,689,490 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $130,442,000 after buying an additional 2,687,466 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of ABAXIS during the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,404,000. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of ABAXIS by 10.3% in the first quarter. Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management LLC now owns 2,960,576 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $143,588,000 after buying an additional 276,724 shares in the last quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of ABAXIS by 20.6% in the second quarter. Copeland Capital Management LLC now owns 327,380 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $17,358,000 after buying an additional 55,929 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp raised its position in shares of ABAXIS by 8.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 563,999 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $27,351,000 after buying an additional 46,118 shares in the last quarter. 98.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About ABAXIS

Abaxis, Inc is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of portable blood analysis systems that are used in medical specialties in human or veterinary patient care to provide clinicians with blood constituent measurements. The Company markets and sells its products around the world through independent distributors and direct sales force.

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