Vical (VICL) Upgraded to Strong-Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $1.50 target price on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company’s DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. “

Separately, HC Wainwright set a $4.00 price target on Vical and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday.

Shares of NASDAQ VICL traded up $0.03 during trading on Friday, hitting $1.26. The company had a trading volume of 185,635 shares, compared to its average volume of 57,148. Vical has a 12 month low of $1.02 and a 12 month high of $2.15. The company has a market capitalization of $27.49 million, a P/E ratio of -1.25 and a beta of 0.68.

Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.22) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.27) by $0.05. Vical had a negative return on equity of 31.61% and a negative net margin of 300.44%. The company had revenue of $0.74 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.51 million. On average, analysts forecast that Vical will post -0.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VICL. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Vical in the second quarter valued at $205,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Vical by 13.9% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 877,729 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,009,000 after acquiring an additional 107,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Vical by 20.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 394,320 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $453,000 after acquiring an additional 65,732 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.78% of the company’s stock.

About Vical

Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. The company is developing VCL-HB01, an HSV-2 therapeutic vaccine that is in Phase II clinical trial to prevent and protect against lesion recurrence, as well as for the treatment of patients with symptomatic genital herpes infection; VL-2397 antifungal program, which is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of invasive fungal infections; and chronic hepatitis B that is in preclinical stage for the eradication of persistent HBV infection.

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