Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $3.25 price objective on the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on ACRX. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $9.00 target price on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. LADENBURG THALM/SH SH set a $10.00 target price on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, February 15th. They set an outperform rating and a $7.00 target price on the stock. B. Riley initiated coverage on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. They set a buy rating and a $6.50 target price on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded AcelRx Pharmaceuticals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $7.47.

Shares of NASDAQ:ACRX opened at $2.74 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 5.03, a quick ratio of 4.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. AcelRx Pharmaceuticals has a 1-year low of $1.99 and a 1-year high of $5.05. The firm has a market cap of $216.22 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.38 and a beta of 2.16.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACRX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 8th. The specialty pharmaceutical company reported ($0.17) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.23) by $0.06. The company had revenue of $0.27 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.85 million. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that AcelRx Pharmaceuticals will post -0.84 earnings per share for the current year.

In other AcelRx Pharmaceuticals news, Director Mark G. Edwards bought 19,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $2.99 per share, for a total transaction of $56,810.00. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders have bought a total of 26,721 shares of company stock worth $78,506 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 7.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in the 1st quarter worth about $34,000. First National Bank of Mount Dora Trust Investment Services purchased a new stake in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in the 1st quarter worth about $70,000. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new stake in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in the 1st quarter worth about $91,000. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals by 93.5% in the 1st quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 28,438 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $99,000 after acquiring an additional 13,738 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James & Associates increased its holdings in AcelRx Pharmaceuticals by 96.7% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 29,500 shares of the specialty pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $68,000 after acquiring an additional 14,500 shares during the last quarter. 15.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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