April 10, 2013 at 09:32 AM EDT
Jefferies Raises Price Targets on Pharmaceutical Stocks (ABBV, ABT, BMY, more)

Jefferies analysts boosted the price target on a number of pharmaceutical companies on Wednesday, holding a positive view of the sector heading into earnings season.

The analysts believe a number of the pharma stocks have attractive valuations, adding to the reasons for the bullish view on the sector.

Price Target Increases
AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) is rated as “Buy” with a price target of $50, up from the previous view of $45. This new target suggests an 18% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $42.55.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) is rated as “Buy” with a price target of $42, up from the previous view of $40. This new target suggests a 15% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $36.66.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is rated as “Buy” with a price target of $45, up from the previous view of $41. This new target suggests a 10% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $40.83.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is rated as “Hold” with a price target of $85, up from the previous view of $79. This new target suggests a 4% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $81.52.

Merck & Co. (MRK) is rated as “Hold” with a price target of $48, up from the previous view of $46. This new target suggests a 5% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $45.51.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is rated as “Buy” with a price target of $33, up from the previous view of $41. This new target suggests a 13% upside to Tuesday’s closing price of $29.11.

The Bottom Line
AbbVie (ABBV) is recommened at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Shares of ABBV have a dividend yield of 3.76% based on last night’s closing price of $42.55 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of $1.60 per share.

Abbott Labs (ABT) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Shares of ABT have a dividend yield of 1.53% based on last night’s closing price of $36.66 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of 56 cents per share.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.5 outs of 5 stars. Shares of BMY have a dividend yield of 3.43% based on last night’s closing price of $40.83 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of $1.40 per share.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Shares of JNJ have a dividend yield of 2.99% based on last night’s closing price of $81.52 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of $2.44 per share.

Merck (MRK) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Shares of MRK have a dividend yield of 3.78% based on last night’s closing price of $45.51 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of $1.72 per share.

Pfizer (PFE) is recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Shares of PFE have a dividend yield of 3.30% based on last night’s closing price of $29.11 and the company’s annualized dividend payout of 96 cents per share.

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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