Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. (NYSEMKT:AST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company. It is focused on the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s technologies center on stem cells capable of becoming all of the cell types in the human body, a property called pluripotency. It develops therapies based on pluripotent stem cells to treat diseases or injuries in a variety of medical fields, with an initial focus on the therapeutic areas of neurology and oncology. Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is based in Menlo Park, California. “

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on AST. FBR & Co reiterated a buy rating on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research report on Thursday, May 26th. Chardan Capital began coverage on Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $5.50 price target for the company. Finally, HC Wainwright reiterated a buy rating and set a $10.00 price target on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Asterias Biotherapeutics currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $7.75.

Shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) opened at 4.42 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $3.13 and its 200-day moving average price is $3.57. The stock’s market cap is $200.75 million. Asterias Biotherapeutics has a 52-week low of $2.30 and a 52-week high of $6.10.

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 15th. The company reported ($0.12) EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.19) by $0.07. The company had revenue of $1.53 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.14 million. Analysts expect that Asterias Biotherapeutics will post ($0.73) earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Edward Wirth sold 14,760 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total value of $51,955.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO Katharine E. Spink sold 19,336 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total value of $68,062.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AST. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 5.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 96,218 shares of the company’s stock worth $452,000 after buying an additional 5,000 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 55.7% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 54,406 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 19,469 shares during the period. BlackRock Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 100.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 73,307 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,000 after buying an additional 36,782 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 114.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 586,720 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,408,000 after buying an additional 313,067 shares during the period. Finally, Sabby Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics during the second quarter worth about $741,000.

Asterias Biotherapeutics Company Profile

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company is focused in the field of regenerative medicine. It has three clinical stage product candidates: AST-OPC1 indicated for spinal cord injuries; AST-VAC2 indicated for lung cancer, and AST-VAC1 indicated for prostate cancer and acute myelogenous leukemia.

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