Zacks Investment Research Lowers Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, January 2nd.

According to Zacks, “Geron's agreement with J&J for its lead pipeline candidate – imetelstat – is a positive which provides it a strong partner as well as funds. Imetelstat is being developed for the treatment of myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndromes. J&J had announced unfavorable findings in 2016 from internal reviews of two studies of imetelstat, IMbark and IMerge. However, in April 2017, Geron informed that Janssen has completed the second internal data review of the two studies and as a result of the review, both trials are continuing unmodified. The FDA had also granted fast track designation to imetelstat. However, Geron's dependence on a single pipeline candidate, imetelstat, raises concerns. Moreover, Geron’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q4 earnings results. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Needham & Company LLC reiterated a hold rating on shares of Geron in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating and issued a $2.50 price target on shares of Geron in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $3.75.

Geron (GERN) traded up $0.03 on Tuesday, reaching $1.94. 1,066,200 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,274,825. The stock has a market cap of $310.50, a price-to-earnings ratio of -10.78 and a beta of 2.59. Geron has a twelve month low of $1.74 and a twelve month high of $3.15.

Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.04) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.01. Geron had a negative net margin of 2,992.67% and a negative return on equity of 25.14%. The firm had revenue of $0.16 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $0.40 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned ($0.02) EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 96.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Geron will post -0.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Geron by 4.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,406,968 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $20,518,000 after purchasing an additional 294,785 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Geron by 9.8% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 5,127,578 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $14,205,000 after purchasing an additional 459,700 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in Geron by 783.9% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 363,990 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $794,000 after purchasing an additional 322,810 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its stake in Geron by 42.0% during the third quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 82,426 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $180,000 after purchasing an additional 24,370 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Geron by 13.7% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 122,838 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $341,000 after purchasing an additional 14,800 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 39.21% of the company’s stock.

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About Geron

Geron Corporation (Geron) is a biopharmaceutical company, which supports the clinical stage development of a telomerase inhibitor, Imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies by Janssen Biotech, Inc (Janssen). The Company is engaged in the development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that binds with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity.

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