Dodge & Cox purchased a new position in Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund purchased 45,718,521 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,330,137,000. Novartis AG accounts for about 3.0% of Dodge & Cox’s holdings, making the stock its 8th largest position.

Other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company bought a new position in Novartis AG during the third quarter worth $304,776,000. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in Novartis AG by 16.4% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 14,753,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,074,650,000 after buying an additional 2,074,452 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its position in Novartis AG by 3,276.1% in the fourth quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 1,907,815 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,965,000 after buying an additional 1,851,305 shares during the period. CGOV Asset Management bought a new position in Novartis AG during the third quarter worth $82,650,000. Finally, Parnassus Investments CA boosted its position in Novartis AG by 22.9% in the third quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 4,278,005 shares of the company’s stock worth $337,791,000 after buying an additional 796,109 shares during the period. 9.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

Shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) traded up 0.470% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $75.905. 772,536 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $180.20 billion, a PE ratio of 27.109 and a beta of 0.73. Novartis AG has a 52-week low of $66.93 and a 52-week high of $83.58. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $75.30 and its 200-day moving average is $74.38.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 25th. The company reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.12. The company had revenue of $12.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.44 billion. Novartis AG had a return on equity of 15.37% and a net margin of 13.80%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.14 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Novartis AG will post $4.70 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced an annual dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 3rd were paid a $2.327 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 1st. Novartis AG’s payout ratio is 82.14%.

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NVS has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group AG cut shares of Novartis AG from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 11th. Argus raised shares of Novartis AG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 31st. Berenberg Bank cut shares of Novartis AG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 17th. Vetr raised shares of Novartis AG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.30 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, March 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Novartis AG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $85.73.

About Novartis AG

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:NVS

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