Akcea Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKCA) Short Interest Update

Akcea Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKCA) saw a significant drop in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 759,300 shares, a drop of 35.1% from the September 15th total of 1,170,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 537,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.4 days. Currently, 4.5% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Shares of AKCA opened at $18.17 on Friday. Akcea Therapeutics has a 52-week low of $8.00 and a 52-week high of $21.70. The firm has a market cap of $1.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -33.65 and a beta of 1.45. The business’s 50 day moving average is $17.62 and its two-hundred day moving average is $15.02.

Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 4th. The company reported ($0.49) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.35) by ($0.14). Akcea Therapeutics had a negative net margin of 12.34% and a negative return on equity of 8.94%. The firm had revenue of $22.38 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $30.93 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.40) earnings per share. Akcea Therapeutics’s revenue was down 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Akcea Therapeutics will post -1.66 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Damien Mcdevitt sold 8,709 shares of Akcea Therapeutics stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $18.12, for a total transaction of $157,807.08. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 242,978 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,402,761.36. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc acquired 21,237,715 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Saturday, October 10th. The shares were bought at an average price of $18.15 per share, with a total value of $385,464,527.25. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 9,748 shares of company stock valued at $176,634. 1.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Akcea Therapeutics by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 177,415 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,431,000 after buying an additional 15,886 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in Akcea Therapeutics by 350.7% during the 2nd quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 257,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,530,000 after acquiring an additional 200,479 shares during the period. PDT Partners LLC acquired a new position in Akcea Therapeutics during the 2nd quarter worth $543,000. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its position in Akcea Therapeutics by 19.6% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 12,550 shares of the company’s stock worth $172,000 after acquiring an additional 2,055 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Akcea Therapeutics by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,464,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,058,000 after acquiring an additional 72,053 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 19.27% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have commented on AKCA. Wells Fargo & Company cut Akcea Therapeutics from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, August 31st. ValuEngine lowered Akcea Therapeutics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 30th. BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on Akcea Therapeutics from $26.00 to $18.15 in a research note on Tuesday, September 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Akcea Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 5th. Finally, Cowen reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Akcea Therapeutics in a research report on Sunday, August 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Akcea Therapeutics currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.05.

About Akcea Therapeutics

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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