Agenus (AGEN) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday. The firm currently has $4.25 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Agenus from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. ValuEngine downgraded Agenus from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Friday, December 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. Agenus currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $5.81.

Agenus (NASDAQ AGEN) traded up $0.07 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $3.97. The company had a trading volume of 1,010,494 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,422,200. Agenus has a one year low of $3.20 and a one year high of $5.45. The stock has a market cap of $345.39, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.39 and a beta of 2.11. The company has a quick ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.37). The business had revenue of $3.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.91 million. The firm’s revenue was down 24.4% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that Agenus will post -1.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Agenus news, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total value of $28,918.68. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 109,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $380,181.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Garo H. Armen acquired 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 30th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $3.55 per share, for a total transaction of $355,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 20,514 shares of company stock worth $70,978 in the last ninety days. 7.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AGEN. Artal Group S.A. grew its position in shares of Agenus by 25.0% during the 3rd quarter. Artal Group S.A. now owns 2,500,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $11,025,000 after buying an additional 500,000 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Agenus by 5.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,530,585 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $13,805,000 after buying an additional 174,162 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Agenus by 511.9% during the 3rd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 88,942 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $392,000 after buying an additional 74,407 shares in the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. grew its position in shares of Agenus by 12.8% during the 3rd quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 617,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $2,724,000 after buying an additional 70,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its position in shares of Agenus by 42.7% during the 3rd quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 192,900 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $851,000 after buying an additional 57,696 shares in the last quarter. 37.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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