Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm currently has a $79.00 price objective on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.95% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Gilead’s HIV franchise has been gaining momentum of late. Rapid adoption of TAF-based regimens, representing 42% of total Gilead HIV prescription volume, following the launch of Genvoya and the launches of Odefsey and Descovy in 2016 boosted results. Strong uptake for Truvada for use in the pre-exposure prophylaxis setting should also boost sales.The company saw a significant uptick in PrEP usage in 2017 with an estimated 125,000 patients using Truvada by the end of the first quarter. The company submitted a NDA to the FDA for single tablet regimen for bictegravir. However, Gilead will lose exclusivity for Viread in 2017 in some countries outside the U.S. which should impact sales. In addition, the HCV franchise continues to be under competitive and pricing pressure leading to a decline in Harvoni and Sovaldi sales.”

GILD has been the subject of several other reports. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $76.00 price objective (up from $75.00) on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Wednesday, May 3rd. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $82.00 price objective on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $79.00 price objective on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Monday, May 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $80.24.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) traded up 1.03% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $71.30. The stock had a trading volume of 4,417,740 shares. Gilead Sciences has a one year low of $63.76 and a one year high of $88.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $93.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.54 and a beta of 1.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $66.03 and its 200 day moving average price is $68.95.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 2nd. The biopharmaceutical company reported $2.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $6.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.66 billion. Gilead Sciences had a return on equity of 76.64% and a net margin of 43.42%. Analysts forecast that Gilead Sciences will post $8.37 EPS for the current year.

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In other Gilead Sciences news, Director John Francis Cogan sold 9,943 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.25, for a total transaction of $668,666.75. Following the sale, the director now owns 47,562 shares in the company, valued at $3,198,544.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Gregg H. Alton sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.06, for a total value of $355,300.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 102,988 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,318,327.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 88,276 shares of company stock worth $6,230,610 in the last quarter. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hall Laurie J Trustee boosted its position in shares of Gilead Sciences by 20.0% in the first quarter. Hall Laurie J Trustee now owns 1,500 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Cable Hill Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Gilead Sciences by 51.9% in the first quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 1,584 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 541 shares during the period. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Gilead Sciences by 583.3% in the first quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,640 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the period. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Gilead Sciences by 19.4% in the first quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,642 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 267 shares during the period. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Gilead Sciences by 9.5% in the first quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.03% of the company’s stock.

Gilead Sciences Company Profile

Gilead Sciences, Inc is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The Company’s portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases and cardiovascular conditions.

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