Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, November 30th.

According to Zacks, “Ligand reported better-than-expected results in the third quarter of 2017 with both earnings and revenues beating estimates. The company’s Captisol formulation technology has 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. Also, with regard to Ligand’s internal pipeline, there are several candidates in development that could bring in future licensing opportunities. Additionally, the company’s entry into the Medical Devices Segment with the acquisition of multiple programs owned by CorMatrix is encouraging. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry this year so far. However, the company derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of Promacta and Kyprolis. Any setback related to either of these two products could leave a substantial impact.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on LGND. HC Wainwright restated a “buy” rating and set a $159.00 price target on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, November 22nd. Roth Capital restated a “buy” rating and set a $158.00 price target (up previously from $135.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. TheStreet upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Deutsche Bank downgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $105.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, November 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $149.67.

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ LGND) traded up $3.06 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $134.69. The company had a trading volume of 182,566 shares, compared to its average volume of 261,344. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $95.08 and a one year high of $149.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,778.11, a P/E ratio of 98.97, a PEG ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.91.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 9th. The biotechnology company reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.32. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 7.83% and a net margin of 12.76%. The company had revenue of $33.38 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.04 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.62 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 54.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 2.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 5,269 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.53, for a total transaction of $750,990.57. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 143,542 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $20,459,041.26. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Matthew E. Korenberg sold 6,559 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.63, for a total value of $935,510.17. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,147 shares in the company, valued at $1,162,006.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 16,828 shares of company stock worth $2,395,051 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 8.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LGND. Janus Henderson Group PLC bought a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the second quarter worth about $72,293,000. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1,447.2% in the third quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 109,124 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $14,839,000 after purchasing an additional 102,071 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 27.3% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 471,058 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $57,186,000 after purchasing an additional 101,073 shares during the last quarter. Castleark Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the second quarter worth about $9,552,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada grew its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 85.4% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 167,943 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $20,388,000 after purchasing an additional 77,337 shares during the last quarter.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals.

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