First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 4,320 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock, valued at approximately $524,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of LGND. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 11,910 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,261,000 after acquiring an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. grew its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 14.5% in the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 16,894 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,788,000 after acquiring an additional 2,136 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE grew its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,845 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $407,000 after acquiring an additional 67 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank grew its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 3.9% in the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 21,445 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,384,000 after acquiring an additional 814 shares during the last quarter. Finally, LS Investment Advisors LLC grew its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 43.2% in the 1st quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,197 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $127,000 after acquiring an additional 361 shares during the last quarter.

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 5,483 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $125.00, for a total transaction of $685,375.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 144,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,081,750. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Charles S. Berkman sold 18,625 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.96, for a total value of $2,364,630.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 24,423 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,100,744.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 37,208 shares of company stock worth $4,733,796. Corporate insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on LGND shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $103.00 price target (up from $100.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Finally, Roth Capital raised their price target on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Ligand Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $132.29.

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ LGND) opened at 135.86 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $128.78 and its 200 day moving average is $116.74. Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has a 1-year low of $87.50 and a 1-year high of $138.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.86 billion, a PE ratio of 331.37 and a beta of 0.99.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The biotechnology company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.42. The firm had revenue of $28.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.40 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 5.05% and a net margin of 7.39%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.50 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

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 is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)

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