Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm presently has a $1.75 target price on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 6.06% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The company’s lead product candidate, ATHX-105, is an oral, selective 5HT2c receptor agonist in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. The company is also developing other orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE). Athersys is developing MultiStem(r), its patented, adult-derived “off the shelf” stem cell product platform, for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. “

Separately, Maxim Group set a $12.00 target price on Athersys and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 7th.

Athersys (ATHX) traded up 5.77% during trading on Monday, reaching $1.65. 1,490,829 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $1.58 and a 200-day moving average of $1.42. The stock’s market cap is $187.95 million. Athersys has a 12 month low of $1.02 and a 12 month high of $2.30.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.06). Athersys had a negative return on equity of 121.47% and a negative net margin of 729.07%. The firm had revenue of $0.67 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.96 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.08) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Athersys will post ($0.24) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 36,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1.45, for a total value of $52,200.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 712,743 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,033,477.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Athersys by 4.8% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 61,176 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc boosted its stake in Athersys by 3.2% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 97,950 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its stake in Athersys by 17.2% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 61,580 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 9,019 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Athersys by 7.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 284,540 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $430,000 after buying an additional 19,375 shares during the period. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in Athersys by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,119,590 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,714,000 after buying an additional 20,680 shares during the period. 18.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Athersys Company Profile

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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