June 05, 2012 at 09:06 AM EDT
Jefferies Stays Bullish on Abbott Labs ahead of Pharma Spin-Off (ABT)

Health care products maker Abbott Laboratories (ABT) on Tuesday caught some continued bullish support from analysts at Jefferies & Co.

The firm said that after an initial review, ABT’s planned spin-off of its pharmaceuticals unit, to be named AbbVie, supports its $76 sum-of-the-parts valuation. That price target suggests a 26% upside to the stock’s Monday closing price of $60.22.

A Jefferies analyst commented, “Abbott filed its initial draft of the Form-10 for its spin-off of AbbVie yesterday. We have provided a ‘first-blush’ analysis of the Income Statement for pro forma AbbVie with the adjustments required to make it comparable to Abbott’s Non-GAAP earnings. This analysis combined with our yield/multiple sum-of-the-parts valuation approach continues to imply a Price Target of circa $76.” Accordingly, the firm also maintained its “Buy” rating on the stock.

Abbott Labs shares were unchanged in premarket trading Tuesday.

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 3.39% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $60.22.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is a “Recommended” dividend stock, 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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