Cerus (CERS) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday.

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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Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on CERS. BTIG Research reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Cerus in a report on Saturday, March 10th. BidaskClub raised Cerus from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, March 15th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $5.00 price target on Cerus and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, January 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Cerus from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Cerus currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $5.35.

Shares of NASDAQ CERS traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $5.38. 427,091 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,489,655. The stock has a market capitalization of $706.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of -9.61 and a beta of 1.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 3.89 and a quick ratio of 3.26. Cerus has a one year low of $1.93 and a one year high of $5.85.

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

In related news, CEO William Mariner Greenman sold 7,735 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $4.80, for a total value of $37,128.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Laurence M. Corash bought 150,011 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 15th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $5.15 per share, for a total transaction of $772,556.65. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now owns 1,462,580 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,532,287. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 14,381 shares of company stock worth $69,685. 7.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Cerus by 1.8% in the 4th 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 period. ARK Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Cerus by 32.8% during the fourth quarter. ARK Investment Management LLC now owns 3,564,373 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $12,048,000 after acquiring an additional 881,171 shares during the period. Senvest Management LLC raised its holdings 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 during the period. Peregrine Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Cerus by 0.9% during the fourth quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 2,840,504 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $9,601,000 after acquiring an additional 24,513 shares during the period. Finally, Bamco Inc. NY raised its holdings in Cerus by 90.9% during the fourth quarter. Bamco Inc. NY now owns 1,071,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $3,620,000 after acquiring an additional 510,100 shares during the period. 51.95% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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