Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of pain. The Company product candidates comprises: ARX-01 or the Sufentanil NanoTab PCA System; ARX-02 or the Sufentanil NanoTab BTP Management System; and ARX-03 or the Sufentanil/Triazolam NanoTab which are in their development stage. Its product ARX-01 is focused on acute post-operative pain, ARX-02 is focused on the treatment of cancer breakthrough pain and ARX-03 is focused on providing mild sedation, anxiety reduction, and pain relief to patients undergoing painful procedures in a physician’s office. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Redwood City, California. “

ACRX has been the subject of several other reports. HC Wainwright raised their price target on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals from $7.00 to $8.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 15th. Oppenheimer restated a hold rating on shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $6.00 price target on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. B. Riley began coverage on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set a buy rating and a $9.00 price target for the company. Finally, LADENBURG THALM/SH SH restated a buy rating and set a $10.00 price target (up from $7.00) on shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $7.93.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals stock traded up $0.10 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $3.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,605,626 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,826,499. The firm has a market capitalization of $201.82 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.05 and a beta of 1.81. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals has a 1 year low of $1.65 and a 1 year high of $5.05.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 5th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported ($0.21) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.20) by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $0.38 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.10 million. Equities research analysts predict that AcelRx Pharmaceuticals will post -0.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Pamela P. Palmer bought 16,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $3.07 per share, for a total transaction of $49,120.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 472,134 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,449,451.38. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Lawrence G. Hamel sold 6,953 shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction on Monday, September 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $4.50, for a total value of $31,288.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 24,371 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $109,669.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have bought 41,700 shares of company stock valued at $123,144. Company insiders own 25.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Fosun International Ltd purchased a new position in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in the third quarter valued at $1,940,000. Creative Planning boosted its holdings in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals by 256.1% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 45,222 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $174,000 after purchasing an additional 32,522 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals by 2.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 673,115 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,271,000 after purchasing an additional 17,737 shares during the period. Lincoln Capital Corp boosted its holdings in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals by 83.3% in the third quarter. Lincoln Capital Corp now owns 62,775 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $242,000 after purchasing an additional 28,525 shares during the period. Finally, Granite Investment Partners LLC purchased a new position in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in the second quarter valued at $182,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 10.66% of the company’s stock.

About AcelRx Pharmaceuticals

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of acute pain. Its lead product candidate is DSUVIA, a 30 mcg sufentanil sublingual tablet for the treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain. The company also develops ZALVISO, a pre-programmed and patient-controlled analgesia system that allows hospital patients with moderate-to-severe acute pain to self-dose with sufentanil sublingual tablets to manage their pain.

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