Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) shares were up 5.2% during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $15.99 and last traded at $15.96, with a volume of 1,599,318 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $15.17.

Several research analysts recently commented on NKTR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Nektar Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, April 20th. Brean Capital restated a “buy” rating on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 target price on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $18.20.

The firm’s market capitalization is $2.36 billion. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $15.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.02.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.14) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.23) by $0.09. The business earned $58.88 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $43.78 million. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 45.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.25 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Nektar Therapeutics will post ($0.95) earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Robert Chess sold 5,000 shares of Nektar Therapeutics stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.10, for a total value of $70,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CAO Jillian B. Thomsen sold 100,000 shares of Nektar Therapeutics stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 106,809 shares in the company, valued at $1,611,747.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NKTR. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its position 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 valued at $1,459,000 after buying an additional 1,781 shares in the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 179,459 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $3,024,000 after buying an additional 10,900 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,208,204 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $20,359,000 after buying an additional 56,510 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.

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