Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $49.47, but opened at $49.82. Kite Pharma shares last traded at $50.79, with a volume of 249,790 shares trading hands.

KITE has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Kite Pharma from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.26 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday. FBR & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Kite Pharma in a research note on Sunday, July 10th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Kite Pharma from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 6th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Kite Pharma in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price objective on shares of Kite Pharma in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Kite Pharma currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $73.75.

The firm’s market cap is $2.47 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $51.03 and its 200-day moving average price is $48.85.

Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) last issued its earnings results on Monday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.60) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($1.08) by $0.48. The company earned $5.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.61 million. During the same period last year, the business posted ($0.36) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 77.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Kite Pharma Inc. will post ($5.60) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Kite Pharma news, COO Cynthia M. Butitta sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 105,401 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,344,884.71. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Jeffrey Wiezorek sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 directly owns 16,367 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $818,350. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of KITE. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 16,336 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,007,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 21,628 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,332,000 after buying an additional 739 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of 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 during the period. GAM Holding AG boosted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 275.3% in the fourth quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 30,400 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,873,000 after buying an additional 22,300 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new position in shares of Kite Pharma during the fourth quarter worth $2,088,000.

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 offers engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT), which is an approach to the treatment of cancer. It is conducting over four pivotal studies of its lead product candidate, KTE-C19, a CAR-based therapy.

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