Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, March 14th.

According to Zacks, “Cerus Corporation is developing medical products based on a platform technology that prevents nucleic acid replication. The company’s initial application of this technology is the development of systems to inactivate viruses, bacteria and other pathogens in blood components used for transfusion. The company is also focusing research and development efforts on other potential health care applications for this platform technology, including pathogen inactivation of source plasma used for fractionation, improving the outcomes of stem cell transplantation. “

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A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on CERS. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $5.00 price objective on shares of Cerus in a research report on Friday, January 5th. BidaskClub raised Cerus from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, January 5th. BTIG Research reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Cerus in a research report on Friday, December 8th. ValuEngine raised Cerus from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $5.00 price objective on shares of Cerus in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Cerus currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $5.40.

Shares of CERS traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $5.20. 1,198,090 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,448,325. Cerus has a 52 week low of $1.93 and a 52 week high of $5.85. The company has a current ratio of 3.89, a quick ratio of 3.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77. The company has a market capitalization of $673.90, a price-to-earnings ratio of -9.29 and a beta of 1.75.

Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 8th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.11) by $0.01. Cerus had a negative return on equity of 154.46% and a negative net margin of 139.06%. The business had revenue of $16.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $17.53 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.13) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 60.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Cerus will post -0.43 EPS for the current year.

In other Cerus news, insider Laurence M. Corash purchased 150,011 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 15th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $5.15 per share, with a total value of $772,556.65. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 1,462,580 shares in the company, valued at $7,532,287. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO William Mariner Greenman sold 7,735 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $4.80, for a total value of $37,128.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 14,381 shares of company stock valued at $69,685. Corporate insiders own 7.40% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cerus by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,485,711 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $28,682,000 after purchasing an additional 150,587 shares during the last quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Cerus by 6.8% in the third quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC now owns 6,128,026 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $16,730,000 after purchasing an additional 388,741 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Cerus by 3.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,892,503 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $12,281,000 after purchasing an additional 184,076 shares during the last quarter. ARK Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Cerus by 32.8% in the fourth quarter. ARK Investment Management LLC now owns 3,564,373 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $12,048,000 after purchasing an additional 881,171 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Senvest Management LLC raised its position in Cerus by 7.0% during the fourth quarter. Senvest Management LLC now owns 3,166,398 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $10,702,000 after acquiring an additional 206,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 51.95% of the company’s stock.

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About Cerus

Cerus Corporation, a biomedical products company, focuses on developing and commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System to enhance blood safety. Its INTERCEPT Blood System is based on its proprietary technology for controlling biological replication; and targets and inactivates blood-borne pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as harmful white blood cells, while preserving the therapeutic properties of platelet, plasma, and red blood cell transfusion products.

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