Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $135.99 and last traded at $134.25, with a volume of 548,822 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $128.05.

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

The stock has a market capitalization of $2.80 billion and a P/E ratio of 11.0673. The company has a 50 day moving average of $119.25 and a 200 day moving average of $109.95.

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

In other news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.57, for a total value of $121,570.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 43,911 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,338,260.27. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jason Aryeh sold 25,000 shares of the 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 completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 58,337 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,953,770.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Navellier & Associates Inc increased 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 worth $1,044,000 after buying an additional 5,373 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased 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 worth $1,368,000 after buying an additional 149 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department bought a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $1,518,000. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $1,963,000. Finally, Comerica Bank increased 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 worth $1,800,000 after buying an additional 146 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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