Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND)’s share price shot up 3% during trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $106.46 and last traded at $106.40, with a volume of 154,202 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $103.31.

A number of research firms have commented on LGND. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $104.00 to $110.00 in a report on Friday, August 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $128.29 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s 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 $2.23 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.09. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $120.35 and its 200 day moving average price is $114.69.

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

In other news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $121.40, for a total transaction of $121,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 42,883 shares in the company, valued at $5,205,996.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

A hedge fund recently raised its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) by 4.9% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 122,475 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock after buying an additional 5,707 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned about 0.61% of Ligand Pharmaceuticals worth $13,279,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

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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