Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is classified as a diversified medical company because the company develops generic pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements, but it also develops diagnostic systems. The diversification might not seem like a big deal, but it could help the company in the long run. The current political environment has brought attention to the costs of prescription drugs in the United States and with Abbott developing generic drugs and also having the cushion of developing nutritional supplements and diagnostic systems as well, it could actually benefit from additional regulation in the industry.
Regardless of what happens going forward, the company has performed very well in recent years and so has the stock. The company has seen earnings grow by a rate of 13% per year over the last three years while sales have grown by a rate of 18%. Earnings increased by 12% in the most recent quarterly report while sales were up 3%. Analysts expect earnings to increase by 13% for 2019 while sales are expected to increase by 4.4%.
The management efficiency measurements are slightly above average with a return on equity of 16.7% and a profit margin of 19.5%.
The Tickeron Valuation Rating system shows a current reading of 3 for Abbott and that indicates that the company is seriously undervalued in the industry. A rating of 1 points to the most undervalued stocks, while a rating of 100 points to the most overvalued stocks. The stock’s price-to-book ratio, P/E ratio, and PEF Ratio are all below the industry averages.
The Tickeron Price Growth Rating for this company is 8, indicating outstanding price growth and meaning that Abbott’s price has grown at a higher rate over the last 12 months as compared to S&P 500 index constituents. A rating of 1 points to highest price growth (largest percent return), while a rating of 100 points to lowest price growth (smallest percent return).
Also from Tickeron we see a Profit vs. Risk rating for Abbott of 9, indicating low risk on high returns. The average Profit vs. Risk rating for the industry is 75, placing this stock better than average.
Looking at the daily chart for Abbott we see that the stock has been trending higher over the last four months and a trend channel has formed that defines the different cycles within the overall trend.
We see that the upper rail connects the highs from April, June, and July while the parallel lower rail connects the lows from May and August. The stock just hit the lower rail in the last week and has since turned higher. It is worth noting that the stock moved back above its 50-day moving average in the last few days.
The daily stochastic readings show low readings, but not quite low enough to get to oversold territory. It is interesting that the indicators did a little double dip in the last few weeks.
The stock briefly broke below its lower Bollinger Band earlier this month and according to the Tickeron Technical Analysis Overview, when that has happened in the past, the stock moved higher 63% of the time over the next month.
One area of concern for Abbott is the sentiment toward the company. Analysts are pretty bullish on the company with 18 out of 21 ratings falling in the “buy” or “overweight” category. There are also two “hold” ratings and one “underweight” rating.
The short interest ratio is a little higher than average at 3.3. The total number of shares sold short did jump significantly in July with total short interest jumping from 14.15 million to 16.99 million from the end of June through the end of July. This indicates growing bearish sentiment.