Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning. They currently have $171.00 target price on the biotechnology company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Ligand’s earnings and revenues beat estimates in fourth-quarter 2017. The company’s captisol formulation technology has resulted in partnerships with several leading drug companies like Novartis and Amgen that provide it with funds in the form of milestone and royalty payments. Also, with regard to Ligand’s internal pipeline, there are several candidates in development that could bring in future licensing opportunities. Additionally, the company’s entry into the Medical Devices Segment with the buyout of multiple programs owned by CorMatrix is encouraging. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry in the past year. However, the company derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of Promacta and Kyprolis. Any setback related to these two products could leave a substantial impact. Moreover, Ligand’s dependence on a single supplier to obtain Captisol is concerning.”
Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday. Roth Capital boosted their price objective on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $158.00 to $171.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, February 26th. Craig Hallum boosted their price objective on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $170.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 22nd. Finally, HC Wainwright restated a buy rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Friday, February 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $157.33.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The biotechnology company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $50.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.39 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 14.44% and a net margin of 8.90%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 32.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.25 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 3.59 EPS for the current year.
In related news, Director Jason Aryeh sold 3,417 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.00, for a total transaction of $529,635.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 58,625 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,086,875. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Stephen L. Sabba sold 925 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.25, for a total value of $126,956.25. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 26,985 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,703,691.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 89,055 shares of company stock worth $13,912,694. 8.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,996,960 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $410,374,000 after purchasing an additional 51,259 shares during the last quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,240,071 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $169,803,000 after purchasing an additional 92,695 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 26.7% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 754,692 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $102,751,000 after purchasing an additional 159,201 shares during the last quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Cardinal Capital Management LLC CT now owns 654,346 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $89,599,000 after purchasing an additional 31,005 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 13.1% in the fourth quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 489,830 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $67,072,000 after purchasing an additional 56,705 shares during the last quarter.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals Company Profile
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.
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