Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report published on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $95.00 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ligand reported encouraging second-quarter results with earnings and sales beating estimates. The company’s Captisol Formulation technology 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. Ligand is acquiring other technology platforms like OmniAb platform from OMT acquisition to reduce dependence on Captisol formulation. OmniAb is likely to drive future revenues. However, Shares of Ligand have underperformed the industry so far this year. Moreover, Ligand derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of Kyprolis. Any setback to Kyprolis will have an unfavorable impact on the top line. Moreover, increase in inactive licensing deals related to Ligand’s technology platform raises concerns.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Argus set a $140.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, June 10th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. HC Wainwright reiterated a buy rating and issued a $214.00 price objective (down from $254.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 23rd. Finally, Barclays reduced their price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $131.00 to $110.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Monday, August 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Ligand Pharmaceuticals currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $165.83.

Shares of LGND stock traded up $0.18 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $94.06. 385,691 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 453,662. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $109.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 13.23 and a quick ratio of 13.15. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $88.23 and a 52-week high of $278.62. The firm has a market cap of $1.85 billion, a PE ratio of 14.98, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.30.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The biotechnology company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.30. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 389.58% and a return on equity of 11.24%. The company had revenue of $24.99 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $21.01 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.59 EPS. Ligand Pharmaceuticals’s quarterly revenue was down 72.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 2.28 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO John L. Higgins purchased 1,850 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $95.45 per share, with a total value of $176,582.50. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 146,749 shares in the company, valued at $14,007,192.05. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Jason Aryeh purchased 250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 14th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $112.51 per share, with a total value of $28,127.50. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 59,368 shares in the company, valued at $6,679,493.68. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders acquired 12,350 shares of company stock valued at $1,267,384. Insiders own 8.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 11.4% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,542,670 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $176,096,000 after purchasing an additional 157,604 shares during the period. William Blair Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 897,370 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $102,435,000 after purchasing an additional 9,728 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 39.6% in the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 655,690 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $82,428,000 after purchasing an additional 186,090 shares during the period. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 2.5% in the 2nd quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 636,699 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $72,679,000 after purchasing an additional 15,693 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 37.7% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 557,512 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $70,085,000 after purchasing an additional 152,649 shares during the period.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies to discover and develop medicines worldwide. Its commercial programs include Promacta, an oral medicine that increases the number of platelets in the blood; Kyprolis and Evomela, which are used to treat multiple myeloma; Baxdela, a captisol-enabled delafloxacin-IV for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; Nexterone, a captisol-enabled formulation of amiodarone; Noxafil-IV, a captisol-enabled formulation of posaconazole for IV use; Carnexiv, which is indicated as replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine formulations; bazedoxifene for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis; Aziyo portfolio of commercial pericardial repair and CanGaroo envelope extracellular matrix products; Exemptia for autoimmune diseases; Vivitra for breast cancer; and Bryxta for non-small cell lung cancer.

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