Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Ligand’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 acquisition of multiple programs owned by CorMatrix is encouraging. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry in the last one 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 either of these two products could leave a substantial impact. Moreover, Ligand’s dependence on a single supplier to obtains Captisol is alos concerning.”
Several other brokerages have also commented on LGND. HC Wainwright boosted their target price on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $159.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Craig Hallum reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $170.00 price objective (up from $160.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Roth Capital set a $158.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 13th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $105.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, November 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $150.83.
In related news, Director Stephen L. Sabba sold 925 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.25, for a total value of $126,956.25. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 26,985 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,703,691.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 28,099 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $153.70, for a total transaction of $4,318,816.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 162,299 shares in the company, valued at $24,945,356.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 63,024 shares of company stock worth $9,934,043 over the last quarter. Insiders own 8.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LGND. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. purchased a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 4th quarter valued at about $30,730,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 26.7% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 754,692 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $102,751,000 after purchasing an additional 159,201 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 74.0% in the 4th quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 252,961 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $34,638,000 after purchasing an additional 107,580 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp lifted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1,447.2% in the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 109,124 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $14,839,000 after purchasing an additional 102,071 shares in the last quarter. Finally, William Blair Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 8.1% in the 4th quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,240,071 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $169,803,000 after purchasing an additional 92,695 shares in the last quarter.
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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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