Wells Fargo Analysts Upgrade Abbott Laboratories to "Outperform" (ABT)

Wells Fargo Analysts Upgrade Abbott Laboratories to “Outperform” (ABT)

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Analysts at Wells Fargo upgraded pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories (ABT) from “Market Perform” to “Outperform” on Friday.

The new price target for Abbott Labs is $71 to $74. That is roughly a 10% upside from Thursday’s closing price of $66.64.

Analyst Larry Biegelsen said,”We believe the recent pullback–following the 3Q report and termination of bardoxolone program–provides an attractive entry point for investors ahead of the split of the company at the end of 2012.”

Biegelsen went on to say, “Looking at 2013, we believe ABT management has set performance targets for each company’s first year that should be at least achievable if not beatable. For the new ABT, we expect the management team, including current CEO Miles White, to build an earnings track record of beats and raises as was done for the current ABT. For AbbVie, we view the HCV opportunity and continued strong growth of the Humira franchise as key drivers into 2013.”

Abbott Laboratories shares were mostly flat in premarket trading on Friday. ABT shares are up $10.41, or 18.51%, year to date.

The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of Abbott Labs (ABT) since Feb.18, 2011, when the stock was trading at $46.32. The company has a 3.06% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $66.64.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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