Asterias Biotherapeutics (AST) Shares Up 17.2%

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEAMERICAN:AST)’s share price shot up 17.2% during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $1.90 and last traded at $1.70. 787,540 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 258% from the average session volume of 219,858 shares. The stock had previously closed at $1.45.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on AST. HC Wainwright set a $11.00 price target on Asterias Biotherapeutics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. B. Riley set a $6.00 price target on Asterias Biotherapeutics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Asterias Biotherapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th.

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEAMERICAN:AST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.09) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $0.48 million for the quarter. Asterias Biotherapeutics had a negative return on equity of 79.80% and a negative net margin of 403.38%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new position in Asterias Biotherapeutics during the fourth quarter valued at $132,000. Deutsche Bank AG raised its holdings in Asterias Biotherapeutics by 110.5% during the fourth quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 66,180 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $148,000 after acquiring an additional 34,739 shares during the period. Finally, Virtu Financial LLC raised its holdings in Asterias Biotherapeutics by 387.0% during the fourth quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 71,588 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $161,000 after acquiring an additional 56,888 shares during the period.

About Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, focuses on developing cell-based therapeutics to treat neurological conditions associated with demyelination, and cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer. Its clinical stage programs include AST-OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor cell population derived from pluripotent stem cells that is in Phase I/IIa clinical trial for spinal cord injuries; AST-VAC2 is a non-patient-specific cancer immunotherapy derived from pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer; and AST-VAC1, a patient-specific cancer immunotherapy that has completed Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.

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