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BAX

Baxter

$69.18

0.77 (1.13%)

09:08
01/08/18
01/08
09:08
01/08/18
09:08

Baxter announces amendments to pension plan

In a regulatory filing, Baxter said that on January 1, the Administrative Committee of the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors approved an amendment to reorganize the Baxter International Inc. and Subsidiaries Pension Plan. Specifically, effective January 1, 2018, the amendment spun off the assets and liabilities of the U.S. Pension Plan attributable to current Company employees to a new Company plan. The assets and liabilities under the U.S. Pension Plan attributable to retired and former Company employees under the U.S. Pension Plan remained with that plan, after giving effect to the spin-off. The Active Plan, the Inactive Plan and the Baxter International Inc. and Subsidiaries Supplemental Pension Plan were further amended on January 5, 2018 to cease the accruals of additional benefits thereunder effective December 31, 2022. As a result, years of additional service earned and eligible compensation received after December 31, 2022 will not be included in the determination of the benefits payable under the Active Plan, the Inactive Plan or the Supplemental Pension Plan. There are no anticipated changes to the benefits eligible to be earned under any plan until January 1, 2023. The Inactive Plan and the Supplemental Pension Plan were further amended on January 5, 2018 to provide transition benefits for a limited number of former Company employees who are accruing disability pension benefits on January 5, 2018 and will not yet be 65 years of age on December 31, 2022. Those individuals will be credited with the service through age 65 that they would have received had the Freeze not occurred for purposes of determining their pension benefits. The Company's obligations under the U.S. Pension Plan and the Supplemental Pension Plan represented approximately 40% of the Company's long-term financial obligations (excluding the fair value of net assets already contributed to the plans) as of September 30, 2017 and constituted the Company's largest financial obligation as of that date. After giving effect to contributions of $115 million to the U.S. Pension Plan in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the Freeze, the Company expects that the U.S. Pension Plan was nearly fully funded as of December 31, 2017. The Company has decided to make these changes, consistent with actions previously taken by many Company peers, in the interest of minimizing the financial impact of changes in the value of the Company's pension investments. Estimated impacts of these actions will be included in the Company's 2018 financial guidance, to be provided on the Company's fourth quarter 2017 earnings call on February 1, 2018.

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    Feb

BAX Baxter
$69.18

0.77 (1.13%)

01/03/18
EVER
01/03/18
INITIATION
Target $71
EVER
Outperform
Baxter initiated with an Outperform at Evercore ISI
Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar started Baxter with an Outperform rating and $71 price target. The analyst thinks Baxter should be able to meet or beat 2018 Street expectations and its balance sheet strength gives it over $10B in capacity for M&A, he tells investors.
01/03/18
RAJA
01/03/18
UPGRADE
Target $73
RAJA
Outperform
Baxter upgraded to Outperform, view as a core holding at Raymond James
Raymond James analyst Lawrence Keusch upgraded Baxter to Outperform from Market Perform and established a $73 price target saying he views it as a core holding. Keusch has high confidence in management execution, an emerging new product portfolio, and balance sheet optionality. He sees organic cc revenue growth in the 4% range driven by geographic expansion after recent underperformance in Europe, as well as continued growth in Asia. Further, after a period of underinvestment, the R&D pipeline as been revitalized and should begin to accelerate growth in 2019 and beyond. Finally, the analyst said Baxter has considerable balance sheet flexibility with $7-$8B available for bolt-on acquisitions.
01/02/18
01/02/18
UPGRADE

On The Fly: Top five analyst upgrades
Catch up on today's top five analyst upgrades with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. L Brands (LB) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Baird with analyst Mark Altschwagern saying he believes the company is on track to meet or exceed December comparable sales and fourth quarter expectations. 2. Lennar (LEN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo with analyst Stephen East citing his post-tax reform earnings per share estimate but without the CalAtlantic (CAA) acquisition included. 3. Disney (DIS), Netflix (NFLX), AMC Networks (AMCX), and Discovery (DISCA) were upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. 4. Abbott (ABT) was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley and to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. 5. Baxter (BAX) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill and to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
01/02/18
BOFA
01/02/18
UPGRADE
Target $73
BOFA
Buy
Baxter upgraded to Buy at BofA/Merrill
As previously reported, BofA/Merrill upgraded Baxter to Buy from Neutral and increased its price target to $73 from $64. Analyst Bob Hopkins expects Baxter to put its $7B balance sheet liquidity to work through M&A and buybacks, which should set the stage for improving revenue growth in 2019-20.

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