Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $2.50 price target on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The company’s lead product candidate, ATHX-105, is an oral, selective 5HT2c receptor agonist in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. The company is also developing other orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE). Athersys is developing MultiStem(r), its patented, adult-derived “off the shelf” stem cell product platform, for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. “

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Maxim Group set a $12.00 target price on Athersys and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. ValuEngine raised Athersys from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $7.17.

Shares of Athersys (ATHX) opened at 2.43 on Monday. Athersys has a 12 month low of $1.02 and a 12 month high of $2.63. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $1.77 and a 200-day moving average price of $1.54. The company’s market cap is $276.80 million.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of ($0.06). Athersys had a negative return on equity of 121.47% and a negative net margin of 729.07%. The company had revenue of $0.67 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.08) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Athersys will post ($0.24) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $2.17, for a total value of $32,550.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 679,416 shares in the company, valued at $1,474,332.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ATHX. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Athersys by 21.9% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 156,880 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $240,000 after buying an additional 28,178 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Athersys by 4.8% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 61,176 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Athersys by 11.1% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 265,165 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $453,000 after buying an additional 26,526 shares during the period. TFS Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Athersys in the first quarter valued at approximately $149,000. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Athersys by 19.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,899,200 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,668,000 after buying an additional 637,322 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 19.08% of the company’s stock.

Athersys Company Profile

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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