Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the nine brokerages that are currently covering the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $135.18.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on LGND. Roth Capital began coverage on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Monday, February 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $118.00 target price for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 7th.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) opened at 108.83 on Thursday. The company’s market cap is $2.28 billion. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $105.86 and a 200 day moving average of $104.33. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 52 week low of $87.50 and a 52 week high of $139.79.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 23rd. The biotechnology company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.45. The business earned $38.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $40.34 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 8.51% and a return on equity of 9.98%. The company’s revenue was up 80.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post $3.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Matthew W. Foehr sold 6,879 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.39, for a total transaction of $711,219.81. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 97,599 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,090,760.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Jason Aryeh sold 32,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.35, for a total transaction of $3,403,200.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 58,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,270,289.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at $19,500,000. Oberweis Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. Oberweis Asset Management Inc. now owns 77,922 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $7,918,000 after buying an additional 3,760 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 10,230 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,039,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Congress Asset Management Co. MA purchased a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at $456,000. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 31.0% in the fourth quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 271,970 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $27,635,000 after buying an additional 64,286 shares in the last quarter.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

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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