Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $4.25 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Agenus’ collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by its efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme.Further, the company announced its strategic decision to spin off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit. The company has made this decision so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, with no approved product in its portfolio, Agenus is heavily dependent on collaborators for topline growth. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q3 earnings results. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AGEN. BidaskClub cut Agenus from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded Agenus from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and set a $7.00 price objective on shares of Agenus in a research report on Friday, August 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $5.81.

Shares of Agenus (NASDAQ AGEN) traded up 3.09% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $3.67. The company had a trading volume of 2,757,001 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average is $4.34 and its 200-day moving average is $3.96. Agenus has a 1-year low of $3.20 and a 1-year high of $5.91. The stock’s market capitalization is $365.94 million.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The biotechnology company reported ($0.32) EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.36) by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $4.21 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.66 million. The firm’s revenue was down 36.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.33) EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Agenus will post ($1.13) EPS for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in Agenus by 0.6% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 204,576 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $800,000 after buying an additional 1,283 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its position in Agenus by 7.1% in the first quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 45,013 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 2,984 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in Agenus by 6.7% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 63,595 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $248,000 after buying an additional 4,006 shares in the last quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY increased its position in Agenus by 12.2% in the first quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 55,920 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 6,101 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Voya Investment Management LLC increased its position in Agenus by 18.5% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 40,855 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 6,381 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 39.57% of the company’s stock.

About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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