Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $15.28, but opened at $15.29. Nektar Therapeutics shares last traded at $15.45, with a volume of 456,607 shares changing hands.

NKTR has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nektar Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $18.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 price objective on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Brean Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $18.20.

The company’s market capitalization is $2.07 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $15.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $13.99.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.14) earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.23) by $0.09. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.25 EPS. The business had revenue of $58.88 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $43.78 million. Nektar Therapeutics’s quarterly revenue was down 45.9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Nektar Therapeutics will post ($0.95) earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CAO Jillian B. Thomsen sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.09, for a total transaction of $1,509,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 106,809 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,611,747.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Howard W. Robin sold 2,170 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.58, for a total transaction of $29,468.60. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 19,103 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $259,418.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several large investors have made changes to their positions in NKTR. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 86,558 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,459,000 after buying an additional 1,781 shares in the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department purchased a new position in Nektar Therapeutics during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,736,000. ProShare Advisors LLC boosted its position in Nektar Therapeutics by 11.9% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 129,779 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,187,000 after buying an additional 13,798 shares during the period. Comerica Bank boosted its position in Nektar Therapeutics by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 135,326 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,992,000 after buying an additional 828 shares during the period. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in Nektar Therapeutics by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 177,127 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,985,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares during the period.

Nektar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development of a pipeline of drug candidates that utilize its PEGylation and advanced polymer conjugate technology platforms, which are designed to enable the development of new molecular entities that target known mechanisms of action.

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