Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. (NYSEMKT:AST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company. It is focused on the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s technologies center on stem cells capable of becoming all of the cell types in the human body, a property called pluripotency. It develops therapies based on pluripotent stem cells to treat diseases or injuries in a variety of medical fields, with an initial focus on the therapeutic areas of neurology and oncology. Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is based in Menlo Park, California. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on AST. HC Wainwright reissued a buy rating and issued a $10.00 price target on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research note on Sunday, September 11th. Chardan Capital started coverage on Asterias Biotherapeutics in a report on Monday, May 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $5.50 price objective for the company. Finally, FBR & Co restated a buy rating on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Asterias Biotherapeutics has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $7.75.

Shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) opened at 4.51 on Monday. The firm’s market cap is $204.84 million. Asterias Biotherapeutics has a one year low of $2.30 and a one year high of $5.75. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $3.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $3.57.

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 15th. The company reported ($0.12) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.07. The business earned $1.53 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.14 million. Analysts predict that Asterias Biotherapeutics will post ($0.73) EPS for the current year.

In related news, COO Katharine E. Spink sold 19,336 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total transaction of $68,062.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Edward Wirth sold 14,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total value of $51,955.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 5.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 96,218 shares of the company’s stock worth $452,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 55.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 54,406 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 19,469 shares during the period. BlackRock Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 100.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 73,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 36,782 shares during the period. Sabby Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics during the second quarter worth about $741,000. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 114.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 586,720 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,408,000 after buying an additional 313,067 shares during the period.

Asterias Biotherapeutics Company Profile

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company is focused in the field of regenerative medicine. It has three clinical stage product candidates: AST-OPC1 indicated for spinal cord injuries; AST-VAC2 indicated for lung cancer, and AST-VAC1 indicated for prostate cancer and acute myelogenous leukemia.

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