Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Immune Design (IMDZ) to Hold

Immune Design (NASDAQ:IMDZ) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Immune Design's primary candidate, CMB305 is being evaluated for soft tissue sarcoma and G100 for Merkel cell carcinoma, follicular non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and sarcoma. Further, it had productive discussion with the FDA regarding CMB305 and has planned to initiate a pivotal phase III trial evaluating CMB305 as monotherapy in synovial sarcoma patients by mid 2018. The company is working towards the potential registration paths of these products. We are positive on its strategic agreements with companies like Sanofi, Roche, and Merck, which not only validate its GLAAS platform, but also provide the company with funds in the form of collaboration and license revenues. Although such collaborations boost its pipeline development, dependence on other companies for revenue growth increases vulnerability too. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q4 earnings results. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on IMDZ. ValuEngine cut shares of Immune Design from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co cut shares of Immune Design from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $29.00 to $10.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on shares of Immune Design in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $20.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Cowen reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Immune Design in a research report on Monday, December 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $13.06.

Immune Design (NASDAQ IMDZ) traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $3.83. 263,500 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 454,850. Immune Design has a twelve month low of $3.50 and a twelve month high of $13.05. The firm has a market capitalization of $183.83, a PE ratio of -1.80 and a beta of 2.36.

Immune Design (NASDAQ:IMDZ) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The biotechnology company reported ($0.52) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.63) by $0.11. Immune Design had a negative net margin of 619.62% and a negative return on equity of 68.69%. The business had revenue of $0.52 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.62 million. sell-side analysts expect that Immune Design will post -1.89 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Carlos V. Paya sold 7,970 shares of Immune Design stock in a transaction on Friday, January 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $4.17, for a total value of $33,234.90. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 114,560 shares in the company, valued at $477,715.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Peter Svennilson purchased 2,681,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was bought at an average price of $4.10 per share, with a total value of $10,992,100.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders purchased 5,290,000 shares of company stock valued at $21,777,900 and sold 13,959 shares valued at $58,209. 20.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of IMDZ. State of Wisconsin Investment Board bought a new stake in shares of Immune Design in the second quarter worth $117,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. bought a new stake in Immune Design during the second quarter valued at $118,000. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC bought a new stake in Immune Design during the second quarter valued at $153,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Immune Design by 9.3% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 18,896 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $184,000 after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in Immune Design by 53.9% during the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 19,694 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $192,000 after purchasing an additional 6,896 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 29.34% of the company’s stock.

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About Immune Design

Immune Design Corp. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company. The Company is focused on cancer with in vivo approaches designed to enable the body’s immune system to fight disease. The Company has engineered its technologies to activate the immune system’s natural ability to create tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) to fight cancer.

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