Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) was up 2.5% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $128.24 and last traded at $128.07, with a volume of 213,831 shares. The stock had previously closed at $124.92.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on LGND shares. Roth Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 target price on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Thursday, May 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, May 10th. Finally, Stephens started coverage on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, April 13th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $150.00 target price for the company. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $143.80.

The firm has a market cap of $2.68 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.59. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $118.59 and its 200-day moving average price is $109.40.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The biotechnology company reported $0.97 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.30. The business had revenue of $29.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $26.45 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 102.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.33 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.30 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Jason Aryeh sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $119.20, for a total value of $2,980,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 58,337 shares in the company, valued at $6,953,770.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Melanie J. Herman sold 334 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.50, for a total transaction of $40,247.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,297 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $397,288.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in LGND. Navellier & Associates Inc boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 126.3% in the fourth quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 9,627 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,044,000 after buying an additional 5,373 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 12,628 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,368,000 after buying an additional 149 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 18,385 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,800,000 after buying an additional 146 shares during the period. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at $1,963,000. Finally, Redwood Investments LLC boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 18.3% in the fourth quarter. Redwood Investments LLC now owns 18,759 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,034,000 after buying an additional 2,903 shares during the period.

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 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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