Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Wall Street Analyst Opinions in Focus

Analysts often provide buy/sell/hold recommendations for companies that they cover. Investors have the ability to follow these sell-side ratings in order to assist with stock analysis. Wall Street analyst ratings may have various interpretations. According to analysts taken into consideration by Zacks Research, the current average broker recommendation on shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is currently 1.3. This rating lands on a scale between 1 and 5. Following this scale, a rating of 1 would indicate a Strong Buy, and a rating of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell recommendation. Out of all the analysts providing ratings, 18 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, according to Zacks Research. 

Investors will be trying to gauge which way stock market momentum will shift as we head into the close of the calendar year. Some may be of the mindset that the bears will be taking over shortly. Others may be super bullish and ready for the market to make a further run higher. Trying to predict which way the tide will shift is no easy task. Being prepared for any situation that arises is a god way to combat the uncertainty that always follows the market. Being prepared can help the investor make quick, tough decisions when the time comes. Many investors may have already figured out that holding onto losers for too long can be damaging for the portfolio. They may have also realized that holding onto winners too long can also have negative effects. Finding that perfect buy/sell balance can end up being the difference between a good portfolio and a great one.

Taking a quick look at the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), we can see that the most recent level is sitting at 0.81. This EPS projection uses 10 Sell-Side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous reported quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 0.75. Covering analysts have the tough job of following companies and offering future estimates. These estimates are often closely followed on the Street, and earnings beats or misses revolve around these projections. Sometimes these predictions are extremely close to the actual reported number, and other times they may be way off. When a company posts actual earnings numbers, the surprise factor can lead to sudden stock price fluctuations. If a company meets and beats estimates and posts a positive earnings surprise, the stock may see a near-term bump. On the other end, a negative surprise may send the stock in the opposite direction. Many investors will choose to trade with caution around earnings releases and wait to make a move until after the major activity has subsided.

Zooming in on recent stock price action for Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), we note that shares are trading near the 71.5 level. Investors will often follow stock price levels in relation to the 52-week high and low levels. The 52-week high is presently 74.27, and the 52-week low is sitting at 54.64. When a stock price is getting close to either the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may track activity to watch for a move past the established mark. Over the last 12 weeks, shares have seen a change of 7.36%. Heading further back to the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 25.28%. Focusing in closer to the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of 0.76%. Over the past five trading days, the stock has changed 2.57%.

As soon as an individual decides what they want out of their investments, they can start formulating the best way to accomplish those goals. The time horizon for each investor may be different. Fluctuations in the financial markets can have a big effect on shorter-term investments. Investors that need a certain amount of money in a shorter amount of time may be looking to develop a stock market strategy with a bit less risk involved. On the other end of the spectrum, a younger investor with a longer time horizon might be able to search for stocks with a higher potential for growth that may involve much more risk. The volatility of today’s markets can test the nerves of any investor. Understanding volatility and market fluctuations can help the investor gauge their risk tolerance in the markets.

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.