ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of a diverse, risk-sensitive portfolio of in-licensed cancer drugs to address unmet medical needs. The Company applies new insights from molecular and cancer biology to understand the efficacy and safety limitations of approved and developmental cancer therapies and identifies proprietary and related molecules for better patient treatment. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ZIOP. Raymond James set a $6.50 price target on shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 25th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 29th. HC Wainwright reissued a “buy” rating and set a $6.50 price objective on shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology in a report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $6.65.

Shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology stock traded down $0.06 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $5.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 32,509 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,356,750. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $4.47 and a 200-day moving average price of $4.92. ZIOPHARM Oncology has a 12-month low of $1.56 and a 12-month high of $7.25. The company has a market capitalization of $917.82 million, a P/E ratio of -10.52 and a beta of 2.60. The company has a quick ratio of 10.34, a current ratio of 10.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01.

ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.43) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.34). Research analysts predict that ZIOPHARM Oncology will post -0.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CAO Kevin G. Lafond sold 11,667 shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.25, for a total transaction of $61,251.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 97,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $510,415.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ZIOP. MSD Partners L.P. grew its stake in ZIOPHARM Oncology by 37.9% in the 3rd quarter. MSD Partners L.P. now owns 15,151,516 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $64,848,000 after acquiring an additional 4,165,258 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in ZIOPHARM Oncology by 24.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,753,413 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $68,522,000 after acquiring an additional 2,294,498 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in ZIOPHARM Oncology by 11.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,254,728 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $65,615,000 after acquiring an additional 1,167,963 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in ZIOPHARM Oncology by 28.3% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 7,106,445 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $30,416,000 after acquiring an additional 1,568,638 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology by 3.0% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,716,285 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $10,007,000 after purchasing an additional 49,939 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.65% of the company’s stock.

About ZIOPHARM Oncology

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc, a biotechnology company, focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing a portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies for treating heterogenous solid tumors and unknown antigens. The company develops two immuno-oncology platform technologies, including Sleeping Beauty (SB), which is based on the genetic engineering of immune cells using a non-viral transposon/transposase system to reprogram T-cells outside of the body for infusion; and Controlled IL-12, which delivers interleukin 12 or IL-12, a master regular of the immune system, in a controlled and safe manner to focus the patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.

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