Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) shares reached a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Monday . The stock traded as high as $17.98 and last traded at $17.73, with a volume of 946,294 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $17.29.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Nektar Therapeutics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 target price on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Finally, Brean Capital reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $18.20.

The stock’s market cap is $2.42 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $15.03 and its 200-day moving average price is $14.02.

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

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

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in NKTR. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in shares of Nektar Therapeutics during the fourth quarter worth about $5,462,000. State of Tennessee Treasury Department purchased a new stake in shares of Nektar Therapeutics during the fourth quarter worth about $1,736,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake 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 worth $20,359,000 after buying an additional 56,510 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 2,342,182 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $39,466,000 after buying an additional 45,091 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake 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 worth $3,024,000 after buying an additional 10,900 shares during 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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