Akcea Therapeutics (AKCA) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. It focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders in the United States and internationally. The Company’s drug pipeline consists of volanesorsen, AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx which are in clinical stage. Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “

Separately, ValuEngine cut Akcea Therapeutics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $39.40.

NASDAQ AKCA opened at $21.20 on Wednesday. Akcea Therapeutics has a 12 month low of $19.67 and a 12 month high of $40.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.97 billion, a PE ratio of -7.74 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04, a quick ratio of 6.61 and a current ratio of 6.61.

Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The company reported $0.34 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by ($0.90). Akcea Therapeutics had a negative return on equity of 54.63% and a negative net margin of 79.88%. The company had revenue of $163.82 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $171.40 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.44) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 857.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Akcea Therapeutics will post -0.63 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Paula Soteropoulos sold 18,386 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.14, for a total transaction of $590,926.04. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 18,386 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $590,926.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, COO Jeff Marc Goldberg sold 30,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.71, for a total value of $951,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 32,880 shares in the company, valued at $1,042,624.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 130,173 shares of company stock worth $4,148,407. Corporate insiders own 3.64% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics during the first quarter valued at $74,000. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in Akcea Therapeutics by 17.8% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,237 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 338 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its holdings in Akcea Therapeutics by 842.0% in the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,165 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,000 after acquiring an additional 2,829 shares during the period. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new position in Akcea Therapeutics in the first quarter valued at about $106,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Akcea Therapeutics in the fourth quarter valued at about $116,000. 25.06% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Akcea Therapeutics Company Profile

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious and rare diseases in the United States and internationally. The company offers TEGSEDI, which is designed to reduce the production of transthyretin protein. It develops WAYLIVRA, which has completed Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome; and that is in Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial partial lipodystrophy.

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