Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Thermo Fisher outperformed its industry in the past three months. The company saw strength in all end markets categorized by customer type or geography in the last reported quarter. It particularly registered solid international performance with strong growth in Asia-Pacific including China. Also, a series of product launches with progress in precision medicine initiatives aided its performance. The company’s recently-closed acquisition of Advanced Bioprocessing business from BD should add complementary cell culture products to Thermo Fisher’s bioproduction offerings. Also, the company’s initiative to buy Gatan to boost electron microscopy suite buoys optimism. On the flip side, Thermo Fisher’s business segments are getting impacted by unfavorable business mix. Also, competitive headwinds and escalating costs pose a threat.”

TMO has been the topic of a number of other reports. Barclays increased their target price on Thermo Fisher Scientific from $250.00 to $275.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Thermo Fisher Scientific from $242.00 to $254.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Cleveland Research cut Thermo Fisher Scientific from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Citigroup increased their target price on Thermo Fisher Scientific from $260.00 to $280.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Thermo Fisher Scientific from $256.00 to $264.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Thermo Fisher Scientific has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $263.45.

TMO opened at $249.55 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.27, a current ratio of 1.84 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $100.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.30, a PEG ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 1.08. Thermo Fisher Scientific has a 12-month low of $181.51 and a 12-month high of $250.75.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The medical research company reported $2.62 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.55 by $0.07. Thermo Fisher Scientific had a return on equity of 16.49% and a net margin of 10.75%. The firm had revenue of $5.92 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.70 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $2.31 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Thermo Fisher Scientific will post 11.04 earnings per share for the current year.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Friday, September 7th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the medical research company to purchase up to 2.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Investors of record on Monday, December 17th will be given a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, December 14th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.27%. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 7.17%.

In related news, Director Tyler Jacks sold 4,772 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $239.75, for a total transaction of $1,144,087.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Marc N. Casper sold 125,520 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $247.50, for a total value of $31,066,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 147,527 shares of company stock worth $36,467,332 over the last ninety days. 0.49% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in TMO. Capital International Investors purchased a new stake in shares of Thermo Fisher Scientific during the third quarter valued at $868,413,000. Capital World Investors lifted its holdings in Thermo Fisher Scientific by 19.2% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 15,412,242 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $3,761,820,000 after acquiring an additional 2,482,783 shares during the period. FMR LLC lifted its holdings in Thermo Fisher Scientific by 18.5% in the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,499,139 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $1,586,310,000 after acquiring an additional 1,016,082 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Thermo Fisher Scientific by 71.4% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,499,423 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $365,979,000 after acquiring an additional 624,602 shares during the period. Finally, Cantillon Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Thermo Fisher Scientific in the third quarter valued at about $130,790,000. 85.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc provides analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and consumables, software, and services for research, manufacturing, analysis, discovery, and diagnostics under the Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services brands worldwide.

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