Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, October 18th. The brokerage presently has a $32.00 price objective on the biotechnology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 23.46% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Exelixis received a significant boost with the approval of the tablet formulation of cabozantinib, (distinct from the capsule form) under the brand name Cabometyx for the treatment of RCC in patients. New patient starts, refills for patients already on therapy and continued expansion of the prescriber base for Cabometyx are driving the drug’s sales. Meanwhile, Exelixis is developing cabozantinib in a broad development program and hassubmitted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for advanced RCC. The FDA assigned a PDUFA action date of Feb 15, 2018. A potential label expansion of Cabometyx will significantly boost the growth prospects. Exelixis also has collaborations with Bristol-Myers and Roche on the development of the drug in combination with immunotherapy agents. Moreover, Exelixis’ share price has outperformed the industry year to date. However, the company is heavily dependent on Cabometyx for growth.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on EXEL. BidaskClub raised shares of Exelixis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Exelixis in a research report on Monday, June 26th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Exelixis in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $33.00 price target for the company. Cann reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Exelixis in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Exelixis in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $31.38.

Exelixis (EXEL) traded up 2.12% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $26.47. 2,309,066 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $26.15 and its 200-day moving average price is $24.29. Exelixis has a 12-month low of $10.04 and a 12-month high of $32.50. The firm has a market cap of $7.78 billion, a PE ratio of 133.69 and a beta of 1.91.

Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The biotechnology company reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.02. Exelixis had a net margin of 18.20% and a return on equity of 80.43%. The company had revenue of $99.01 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $85.27 million. During the same period last year, the company posted ($0.15) earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 173.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Exelixis will post $0.28 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, EVP Jeffrey Hessekiel sold 27,302 shares of Exelixis stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.28, for a total value of $662,892.56. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Gisela Schwab sold 100,000 shares of Exelixis stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $23.79, for a total transaction of $2,379,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 970,152 shares of company stock worth $25,923,457. Insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in EXEL. First Quadrant L P CA bought a new position in shares of Exelixis in the second quarter valued at approximately $144,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Exelixis in the first quarter valued at approximately $170,000. Fisher Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Exelixis in the third quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Exelixis in the second quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Finally, Caxton Associates LP bought a new position in shares of Exelixis in the second quarter valued at approximately $227,000. 78.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Exelixis

Exelixis, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines to manage care and outcomes for people with cancer. The Company’s cabozantinib product is an inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases, including MET, AXL, and VEGF receptors.

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