Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND)’s share price was up 2.5% on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $128.24 and last traded at $128.07, with a volume of 213,831 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $124.92.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on LGND shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Roth Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Saturday, April 9th. Finally, Stephens started coverage on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Wednesday, April 13th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $143.80.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2.62 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.37. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $118.89 and a 200 day moving average price of $109.68.

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

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, Director Jason Aryeh sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the director now owns 58,337 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,953,770.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.40, for a total transaction of $121,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 42,883 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,205,996.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LGND. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 20.8% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 42,858 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $4,647,000 after buying an additional 7,370 shares during the period. Turner Investments L.P. boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 300.0% in the fourth quarter. Turner Investments L.P. now owns 20,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,168,000 after buying an additional 15,000 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 61,300 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $6,646,000 after buying an additional 3,600 shares in the last quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc boosted its stake 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 in the last quarter. Finally, ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 10.9% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 19,026 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,063,000 after buying an additional 1,869 shares in the last quarter.

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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