Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Gilead is all set to acquire Kite Pharma and enter the CAR T therapy space which represents immense potential at this juncture and a potential approval of lead candidate axi-cell will be a significant boost for Gilead’s prospects which has dampened of late. We note that an acquisition announcement was on the cards as Gilead had a strong cash balance and the decline in the once lucrative hepatitis C (HCV) market due to competitive pressure made the company look for strategic alternatives.  Gilead is known for its presence in the HCV market because of its blockbuster HCV drugs, Sovaldi and Harvoni. However, the HCV franchise is under pressure because of competition and pricing issues. Meanwhile, the HIV franchise maintains momentum driven by the rapid adoption of TAF-based regimens in the U.S. and EU. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry so far in 2017.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. BMO Capital Markets reissued an outperform rating and set a $82.00 price objective (up previously from $72.00) on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub raised shares of Gilead Sciences from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Leerink Swann reissued a market perform rating on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued an overweight rating and set a $82.00 price objective on shares of Gilead Sciences in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $83.06.

Shares of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ GILD) opened at 82.28 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $107.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.94 and a beta of 1.19. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $76.95 and its 200-day moving average is $70.12. Gilead Sciences has a 52-week low of $63.76 and a 52-week high of $86.27.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $2.56 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.11 by $0.45. Gilead Sciences had a net margin of 42.90% and a return on equity of 66.07%. The business had revenue of $7.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.35 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $3.08 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 8.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Gilead Sciences will post $8.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 28th. Investors of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.53%. Gilead Sciences’s payout ratio is 22.58%.

In related news, EVP Gregg H. Alton sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.05, for a total transaction of $2,076,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 101,488 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,428,578.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Robin L. Washington sold 51,820 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.00, for a total value of $4,404,700.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 43,352 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,684,920. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 466,819 shares of company stock valued at $36,740,240. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 583.3% during the 1st quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 1,640 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. grew its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 19.4% during the 1st quarter. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,642 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 267 shares in the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 9.5% during the 1st quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,656 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after acquiring an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Webster Bank N. A. grew its stake in shares of Gilead Sciences by 51.7% during the 1st quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,831 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $125,000 after acquiring an additional 624 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Gilead Sciences during the 1st quarter worth approximately $143,000. 74.05% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The Company’s portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases and cardiovascular conditions.

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