Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Inovio, a development-stage biopharmaceutical company, is focused on the development of treatments targeting various cancer forms and infectious diseases. Inovio received a huge setback when Roche decided to discontinue its collaboration with the company for the development of hepatitis B DNA immunotherapy, INO-1800. Following the decision, the company has resolved to develop INO-1800 independently. We note that being a development-stage company, Inovio depends largely on government grants and contracts for the development of its candidates. Thus, inability to secure sufficient funding could hinder its pipeline progress. Moreover, most of Inovio’s pipeline candidates are in early stages of development and thus, quite a few years away from entering the market, if at all. However, we are positive on the company’s progress with its lead cancer candidate, VGX-3100, which is expected to move into a late-stage study late in 2016.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on INO. Vetr cut shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $11.11 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, August 1st. HC Wainwright initiated coverage on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Monday, August 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $17.00 price target for the company. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $13.00 price target on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Sunday, July 17th. Maxim Group cut shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $31.00 price target on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Monday, July 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $16.39.

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Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) traded up 2.39% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $9.43. 730,518 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s market capitalization is $693.56 million. Inovio Pharmaceuticals has a 52 week low of $4.50 and a 52 week high of $11.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $9.14 and its 200-day moving average price is $9.36.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 8th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.26) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.21) by $0.05. The firm earned $6.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.95 million. Inovio Pharmaceuticals had a negative return on equity of 22.29% and a negative net margin of 88.19%. Inovio Pharmaceuticals’s revenue was up 17.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.09) EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Inovio Pharmaceuticals will post ($0.93) EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Inovio Pharmaceuticals news, Director Morton Collins purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 28th. The shares were bought at an average price of $9.13 per share, with a total value of $91,300.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 142,291 shares in the company, valued at $1,299,116.83. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO Niranjan Sardesai sold 21,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $9.30, for a total transaction of $202,740.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 70,234 shares in the company, valued at approximately $653,176.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC boosted its position in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 13.0% in the second quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 15,250 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 1,750 shares during the period. Raymond James & Associates boosted its position in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 9.8% in the second quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 11,313 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 1,013 shares during the period. Quantbot Technologies LP boosted its position in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 3,878.4% in the second quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 11,617 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 11,325 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 94.3% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 12,108 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 5,875 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Inovio Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth approximately $113,000. 28.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Inovio) is a bio-pharmaceutical company, which is involved in developing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) immunotherapies and vaccines focused on treating and preventing cancers and infectious diseases. The Company’s DNA-based immunotherapies, in combination with its electroporation delivery devices, generates immune responses, in particular T cells, in the body to fight target diseases.

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