Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Ligand’s Captisol formulation technology has resulted in partnerships with several leading drug companies like Novartis and Amgen that provide it with funds in the form of milestone and royalty payments. Also, with regard to Ligand’s internal pipeline, there are several candidates in development that could bring in future licensing opportunities. Additionally, the company’s entry into the Medical Devices Segment with the acquisition of multiple programs owned by CorMatrix is encouraging. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. However, the company derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of Promacta and Kyprolis. Any setback related to either of these two products could leave a substantial impact. Moreover, Ligand’s dependence on a single supplier to obtains Captisol is alos concerning.”
LGND has been the subject of a number of other reports. HC Wainwright set a $169.00 price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Deutsche Bank downgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $105.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, November 20th. BidaskClub raised Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Craig Hallum reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $150.83.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The biotechnology company reported $1.31 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.25. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 7.83% and a net margin of 12.76%. The firm had revenue of $50.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.39 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.25 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 3.15 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, Director Stephen L. Sabba sold 925 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.25, for a total transaction of $126,956.25. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 26,985 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,703,691.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 28,099 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.70, for a total value of $4,318,816.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 162,299 shares in the company, valued at $24,945,356.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 63,024 shares of company stock valued at $9,934,043 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 8.30% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Assetmark Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 336.4% in the 4th quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,056 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $145,000 after acquiring an additional 814 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 48.4% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,101 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 359 shares in the last quarter. We Are One Seven LLC bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $179,000. Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Finally, Round Table Services LLC bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $205,000.
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About Ligand Pharmaceuticals
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals.
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