Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) shares were up 2.5% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $105.99 and last traded at $104.94, with a volume of 262,283 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $102.40.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on LGND shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $136.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. Roth Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Deutsche Bank AG cut shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $104.00 to $110.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $128.29 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Ligand Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $136.90.

The company has a market cap of $2.16 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.77. The company has a 50 day moving average of $123.19 and a 200 day moving average of $114.11.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The biotechnology company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.10. The company earned $19.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.12 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.81 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.45 EPS for the current year.

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.40, for a total value of $121,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,883 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,205,996.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of LGND. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 122,475 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $13,279,000 after buying an additional 5,707 shares during the period. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,963,000. Finally, Airain ltd bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $3,205,000.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals.

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