Kite Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) was the target of a significant drop in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,439,059 shares, a drop of 32.7% from the August 15th total of 8,077,360 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,797,464 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.4 days. Approximately 10.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

KITE has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity set a $115.00 target price on Kite Pharma and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Vetr upgraded Kite Pharma from a “strong sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $116.82 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 17th. ValuEngine upgraded Kite Pharma from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Roth Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $93.00 target price on shares of Kite Pharma in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 target price on shares of Kite Pharma in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Fifteen research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $91.10.

In related news, EVP Helen Susan Kim sold 79,949 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $119.56, for a total transaction of $9,558,702.44. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 98,613 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,790,170.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Cynthia M. Butitta sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.72, for a total value of $1,810,800.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 132,795 shares in the company, valued at $16,031,012.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 200,849 shares of company stock worth $22,586,128. Corporate insiders own 14.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 17.5% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,292 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $445,000 after buying an additional 638 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 0.8% in the second quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 86,578 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $8,976,000 after buying an additional 709 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 22.9% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 37,773 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,916,000 after buying an additional 7,028 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Kite Pharma by 14.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,724,567 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $178,785,000 after buying an additional 221,895 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gotham Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Kite Pharma in the second quarter worth about $552,000. 87.86% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) opened at 178.61 on Monday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $144.96 and its 200 day moving average price is $100.11. Kite Pharma has a one year low of $39.82 and a one year high of $179.69. The stock’s market capitalization is $10.21 billion.

Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($1.94) earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($1.97) by $0.03. Kite Pharma had a negative return on equity of 59.56% and a negative net margin of 1,117.44%. The company had revenue of $10.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.59 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.91) earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 110.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Kite Pharma will post ($8.23) earnings per share for the current year.

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About Kite Pharma

Kite Pharma, Inc is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy products to target and kill cancer cells. The Company offers engineered autologous cell therapy, which is an approach to the treatment of cancer. Its therapy involves modifying a patient’s T cells outside the patient’s body, or ex vivo, causing the T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), or T cell receptors (TCRs), and then reinfusing the engineered T cells back into the patient.

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