Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR)’s share price rose 5.2% on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $15.99 and last traded at $15.96, with a volume of 1,599,318 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $15.17.

NKTR has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Nektar Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 20th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 price target on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research note on Wednesday, May 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $18.20.

The company’s market capitalization is $2.19 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $15.00 and a 200-day moving average of $13.99.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.14) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.23) by $0.09. The company earned $58.88 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $43.78 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.25 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 45.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Nektar Therapeutics will post ($0.95) earnings per share for the current year.

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

Several large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Nationwide Fund Advisors raised its stake in 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 acquired a new stake in Nektar Therapeutics during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,736,000. Comerica Bank raised its stake in Nektar Therapeutics by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 135,326 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,992,000 after buying an additional 828 shares in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake 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 worth $2,985,000 after buying an additional 3,300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its stake in Nektar Therapeutics by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 179,459 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,024,000 after buying an additional 10,900 shares in the last quarter.

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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.