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

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on NKTR. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Nektar Therapeutics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday. Brean Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 target price on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nektar Therapeutics currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $18.20.

The company has a 50 day moving average price of $15.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $14.07. The company’s market capitalization is $2.34 billion.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.14) EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.23) by $0.09. The company earned $58.88 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $43.78 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.25 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 45.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Nektar Therapeutics will post ($0.97) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CAO Jillian B. Thomsen sold 100,000 shares of the company’s 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 transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 106,809 shares in the company, valued at $1,611,747.81. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Robert Chess sold 5,000 shares of the company’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.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Nationwide Fund Advisors boosted its position 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 during 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 during 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 during 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 during 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 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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