Shares of Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $18.36 and last traded at $18.23, with a volume of 839,938 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $17.83.

NKTR has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Brean Capital reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $18.00 price objective on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Friday, August 5th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Nektar Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 19th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $21.00 target price (up previously from $17.00) on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a research report on Friday, August 5th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $19.40.

The company’s market cap is $2.40 billion. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $16.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $14.51.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.36) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.33) by $0.03. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.40) EPS. The firm earned $32.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.17 million. Nektar Therapeutics’s quarterly revenue was up 44.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Nektar Therapeutics will post ($1.11) EPS for the current year.

In other news, 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 sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Gil M. Labrucherie sold 3,305 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.56, for a total value of $58,035.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have made changes to their positions in NKTR. 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 valued at $20,359,000 after buying an additional 56,510 shares in 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 valued at $39,466,000 after buying an additional 45,091 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake 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.

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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