Aquabounty Technologies (NASDAQ:AQB)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by equities researchers at National Securities in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, AnalystRatings.com reports. They currently have a $5.00 price target on the stock. National Securities’ price target would suggest a potential upside of 150.00% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “ CCO Named. Last week, AQB announced the hiring of David Melbourne, Jr as Chief Commercial Officer effective June 17th. Melbourne comes from Bumble Bee Foods, where was SVP of Consumer Marketing, Government & Industry Relations. Melbourne brings 15 years of experience from Bumble Bee Foods, the largest branded seafood company in the country.
Commercial Team Development Critical to Value Proposition. We believe this announcement is more significant than may meet the eye. Without the ability to grow AAS domestically, AQB has historically been unable to develop a sales and marketing team. With AAS in the grow out phase in the Indiana facility, CEO Sylvia Wulf can now do so. Given that the lack of commercial experience has been one of the bearish takes on the stock, we believe AQB’s efforts to fill this void is a positive sign for shareholders.
Next Steps? We believe additional hires will be made to fill out a team underneath Melbourne. In addition, we expect movement within the Board of Directors to add commercial experience. Most importantly, we look for AQB to add individuals at either level with experience in fresh seafood distribution, as this represents the highest margin opportunity and most disruptive potential market for AAS.
Commercial Success the Most Significant Catalyst. We believe a formal announcement of the first buyers for AAS will represent a significant catalyst for the stock. With the first harvest of AAS anticipated in the third quarter of 2020, we expect this around the Spring of 2020. In advance of this, additional catalysts could include expansion plans or international regulatory approvals.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on AQB. HC Wainwright restated a “buy” rating and set a $3.75 price target on shares of Aquabounty Technologies in a report on Friday, May 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aquabounty Technologies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st.
Aquabounty Technologies (NASDAQ:AQB) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The company reported ($0.18) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.19) by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $0.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $0.21 million. Aquabounty Technologies had a negative net margin of 6,521.95% and a negative return on equity of 44.38%. On average, equities analysts expect that Aquabounty Technologies will post -0.53 EPS for the current year.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AQB. HighTower Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Aquabounty Technologies in the first quarter valued at approximately $258,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its position in shares of Aquabounty Technologies by 64.8% during the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 66,623 shares of the company’s stock worth $146,000 after acquiring an additional 26,203 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Aquabounty Technologies by 244.9% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 170,987 shares of the company’s stock worth $374,000 after acquiring an additional 121,413 shares during the period. ARK Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Aquabounty Technologies by 13.7% in the first quarter. ARK Investment Management LLC now owns 335,420 shares of the company’s stock valued at $735,000 after buying an additional 40,506 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Aquabounty Technologies by 28.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $57,000 after buying an additional 5,830 shares during the last quarter. 50.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Aquabounty Technologies Company Profile
AquaBounty Technologies, Inc, a biotechnology company, develops and markets products to enhance productivity in aquaculture. It offers AquAdvantage Salmon, a genetically modified Atlantic salmon for human consumption. The company was formerly known as Aqua Bounty Farms, Inc and changed its name to AquaBounty Technologies, Inc in June 2004.
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