Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Gilead is all set to acquire Kite Pharma and enter the CAR T therapy space which represents immense potential at this juncture and a potential approval of lead candidate axi-cell will be a significant boost for Gilead’s prospects which has dampened of late. We note that an acquisition announcement was on the cards as Gilead had a strong cash balance and the decline in the once lucrative hepatitis C (HCV) market due to competitive pressure made the company look for strategic alternatives.  Gilead is known for its presence in the HCV market because of its blockbuster HCV drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni. However, the HCV franchise is under pressure because of competition and pricing issues. Meanwhile, the HIV franchise maintains momentum driven by the rapid adoption of TAF-based regimens in the U.S. and EU. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry so far in 2017.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Gilead Sciences from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Berenberg Bank reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $96.00 price target (up previously from $86.00) on shares of Gilead Sciences in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Vetr raised shares of Gilead Sciences from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $89.27 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price target on shares of Gilead Sciences from $73.00 to $81.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $90.00 price target on shares of Gilead Sciences in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. Gilead Sciences currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $83.06.

Shares of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) opened at 83.68 on Monday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $76.43 and its 200 day moving average price is $69.93. Gilead Sciences has a 52 week low of $63.76 and a 52 week high of $86.27. The firm has a market cap of $109.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.09 and a beta of 1.19.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $2.56 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.45. Gilead Sciences had a net margin of 42.90% and a return on equity of 66.07%. The company had revenue of $7.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.35 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $3.08 earnings per share. Gilead Sciences’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Gilead Sciences will post $8.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.49%. Gilead Sciences’s payout ratio is currently 22.58%.

In other news, EVP Gregg H. Alton sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.06, for a total transaction of $355,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 102,988 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,318,327.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Gregg H. Alton sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total transaction of $2,960,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 137,488 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,174,112. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 466,819 shares of company stock valued at $36,740,240. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 583.3% during the 1st quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,640 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. increased its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 19.4% during the 1st quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,642 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 267 shares during the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 9.5% during the 1st quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Webster Bank N. A. increased its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 51.7% during the 1st quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,831 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Gilead Sciences during the 1st quarter worth approximately $143,000. Institutional investors own 74.05% of the company’s stock.

About Gilead Sciences

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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Analyst Recommendations for Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)

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