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

Several equities research analysts recently commented on LGND shares. Roth Capital reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, May 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 10th. Finally, Stephens started coverage on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $150.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $143.80.

The firm’s 50-day moving average is $120.10 and its 200-day moving average is $110.29. The company has a market capitalization of $2.75 billion and a PE ratio of 10.86.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 4th. The biotechnology company reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.30. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.33 EPS. The business had revenue of $29.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.45 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 102.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.57, for a total transaction 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 legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Melanie J. Herman sold 334 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.50, for a total transaction of $40,247.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,297 shares in the company, valued at approximately $397,288.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 386.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 85,245 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $9,243,000 after buying an additional 67,717 shares during the period. Airain ltd purchased a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $3,205,000. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 183.5% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 32,279 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $3,500,000 after buying an additional 20,895 shares in the last quarter. Matarin Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $1,963,000. Finally, 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 worth $2,168,000 after buying an additional 15,000 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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