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Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Stock With Unusual Social Activity

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Abbott Laboratories as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • ABT has more that 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 3.81 mentions/day.
  • ABT has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $351.1 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on ABT:

Abbott Laboratories is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of health care products worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.2%. ABT has a PE ratio of 26.5. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate Abbott Laboratories a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Abbott Laboratories has been 8.8 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Abbott has a market cap of $58.2 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The stock has a beta of 0.77 and a short float of 0.8% with 1.36 days to cover. Shares are down 0.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Abbott Laboratories as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income and relatively poor performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • ABT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ABT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.26 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.27, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for ABBOTT LABORATORIES is rather high; currently it is at 57.82%. Regardless of ABT's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 10.42% trails the industry average.
  • In its most recent trading session, ABT has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry, implying reduced upside potential.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 44.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $1,053.46 million to $589.55 million.

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