C.R. Bard, Inc. (BCR) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, July 31st. They currently have $360.00 target price on the medical instruments supplier’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, C. R. Bard has outperformed the broader industry trends with respect to price performance. The company exhibited a solid second quarter of 2017, beating the Zacks Consensus on both lines. Looking forward C. R. Bard is expected to benefit from the impending merger with Becton, Dickinson and Company, especially in the areas of medication management and infection prevention. The $24 billion transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. We believe the development will provide benefits to the combined entity and bolster its foothold in the global medical devices market. The growing adoption of Lutonix DCB is also expected to drive top-line growth in the coming quarters.However, a challenging Med-tech environment is a major concern. The company witnesses significant pricing pressure as well. Additionally, cutthroat competition in the hernia fixation and peripheral stent businesses are likely to dent growth.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on BCR. BidaskClub downgraded C.R. Bard from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $317.00 price objective on shares of C.R. Bard in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. downgraded C.R. Bard from a strong-buy rating to a mkt perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Wells Fargo & Company downgraded C.R. Bard from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded C.R. Bard from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. C.R. Bard currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $285.67.

Shares of C.R. Bard (BCR) traded up 0.19% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $319.75. 330,226 shares of the stock were exchanged. C.R. Bard has a 12 month low of $203.63 and a 12 month high of $323.27. The firm has a market cap of $23.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 41.98 and a beta of 0.59. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $319.00 and its 200 day moving average is $283.44.

C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The medical instruments supplier reported $2.92 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.84 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $979.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $976.53 million. C.R. Bard had a return on equity of 48.70% and a net margin of 14.99%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.54 earnings per share. Analysts expect that C.R. Bard will post $11.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 4th. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 24th were issued a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 20th. C.R. Bard’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.67%.

In other C.R. Bard news, insider John P. Groetelaars sold 23,687 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $318.73, for a total value of $7,549,757.51. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 31,445 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,022,464.85. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of C.R. Bard by 1,365.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,398,081 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $1,838,719,000 after buying an additional 6,893,346 shares during the last quarter. Alpine Associates Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of C.R. Bard during the second quarter valued at about $265,663,000. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd purchased a new position in shares of C.R. Bard during the first quarter valued at about $132,062,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. purchased a new position in shares of C.R. Bard during the first quarter valued at about $132,062,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its position in shares of C.R. Bard by 87.8% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 956,700 shares of the medical instruments supplier’s stock valued at $237,778,000 after buying an additional 447,300 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.32% of the company’s stock.

About C.R. Bard

C. R. Bard, Inc (Bard) is engaged in designing, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and sale of medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices. The Company operates through the manufacture and sale of medical devices segment. It sells a range of products to hospitals, individual healthcare professionals, extended care facilities and alternate site facilities on a global basis.

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