Shares of Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 1,392,417 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 71% from the previous session’s volume of 812,236 shares.The stock last traded at $52.10 and had previously closed at $51.50.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on KITE shares. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a research note on Thursday, June 2nd. FBR & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a research report on Monday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Kite Pharma from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $75.00 target price on shares of Kite Pharma in a research report on Friday, March 18th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a research report on Monday, June 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Kite Pharma presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.20.

The company’s market capitalization is $2.56 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $51.07 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.68.

Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.60) EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($1.08) by $0.48. The business earned $5.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.61 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.36) EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 77.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Kite Pharma Inc. will post ($5.60) EPS for the current year.

In other news, COO Cynthia M. Butitta sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.71, for a total transaction of $1,014,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 105,401 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,344,884.71. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Roy Doumani sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.91, for a total transaction of $579,100.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 136,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,876,744.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Alps Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Kite Pharma during the fourth quarter worth about $3,881,000. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Kite Pharma by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 53,471 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,295,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. increased its stake in shares of Kite Pharma by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 285,536 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $17,595,000 after buying an additional 14,270 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Kite Pharma during the fourth quarter worth about $10,926,000. Finally, ProShare Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Kite Pharma by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 41,304 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,545,000 after buying an additional 3,807 shares in the last quarter.

Kite Pharma, Inc, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy products to eradicate cancer cells. The Company does this using its engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT), which is an approach to the treatment of cancer.

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