Shares of Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 1,392,417 shares traded 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 analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Kite Pharma from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 12th. FBR & Co downgraded shares of Kite Pharma to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Cowen and Company reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a report on Monday, June 20th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a report on Monday, May 9th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Kite Pharma in a report on Wednesday, April 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $74.20.

The company’s market capitalization is $2.38 billion. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $51.16 and its 200 day moving average is $49.57.

Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.60) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($1.08) by $0.48. The company had revenue of $5.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.61 million. The company’s revenue was up 77.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned ($0.36) earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Kite Pharma Inc. will post ($5.60) earnings per share for the current year.

In related 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 value of $1,014,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 105,401 shares in the company, valued at $5,344,884.71. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Jeffrey Wiezorek sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $75,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 16,367 shares in the company, valued at approximately $818,350. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. California State Teachers Retirement System raised its position in 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 valued at $3,295,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. raised its position in Kite Pharma by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 285,536 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $17,595,000 after buying an additional 14,270 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank raised its stake in Kite Pharma by 28.1% in the fourth quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 47,850 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,949,000 after buying an additional 10,500 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Kite Pharma by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 28,768 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,773,000 after buying an additional 2,660 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Kite Pharma by 58.8% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 51,300 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,161,000 after buying an additional 19,000 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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