Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Alexion's blockbuster drug Soliris continues to perform well. The FDA approval for the generalized myasthenia gravis indication has boosted sales further. The prospects of ALXN1210 looks good too given the positive data from the switch study and in treatment-naïve patients. Alexion recently submitted a BLA to the FDA for ALXN1210. Since the submission is for a rare disease using a priority review voucher, the BLA is entitled to an eight-month review by the FDA instead of the standard 12-month review. Meanwhile, Alexion is looking to diversify its portfolio and reduce its dependence on Soliris. The Wilson deal will strengthen Alexion’s rare disease pipeline with a late-stage candidate, WTX101 which is currently in phase III for the treatment of Wilson disease. Shares of the company have performed better than the industry in the year so far. However, the company relies heavily on Soliris for growth. Pricing is likely to impact sales.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Nomura lifted their price objective on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals to $165.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, April 12th. BidaskClub cut shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 27th. ValuEngine cut shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. Robert W. Baird set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, March 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued an outperform rating and issued a $149.00 price objective (up from $147.00) on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, March 16th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Alexion Pharmaceuticals currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $160.00.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals opened at $124.15 on Wednesday, according to MarketBeat.com. The firm has a market cap of $27.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.06, a P/E/G ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.11. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a fifty-two week low of $102.10 and a fifty-two week high of $149.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 3.35 and a quick ratio of 2.86.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $1.68 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $930.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $920.50 million. Alexion Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 14.46% and a return on equity of 13.70%. Alexion Pharmaceuticals’s quarterly revenue was up 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.38 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Alexion Pharmaceuticals will post 6.28 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP John J. Orloff sold 2,115 shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $118.53, for a total transaction of $250,690.95. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 31,790 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,768,068.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Christopher J. Coughlin purchased 10,000 shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 30th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $120.79 per share, with a total value of $1,207,900.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 26,333 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,180,763.07. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 4.35% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 12.1% in the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,836,919 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $458,857,000 after purchasing an additional 414,969 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 9.5% in the 4th quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 3,541,871 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $423,572,000 after purchasing an additional 307,117 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 2,583,710 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $308,986,000 after purchasing an additional 243,650 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,256,415 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $269,251,000 after purchasing an additional 62,266 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 1,786.3% in the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,454,498 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $173,944,000 after buying an additional 1,377,388 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 92.22% of the company’s stock.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes various therapeutic products. The company offers Soliris (eculizumab), a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a genetic blood disorder; atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a genetic disease; and generalized myasthenia gravis, a debilitating, complement-mediated neuromuscular disease.

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