Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) shares traded down 2.1% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $114.19 and last traded at $114.64, with a volume of 213,368 shares. The stock had previously closed at $117.14.

Several research analysts recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG downgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $104.00 to $110.00 in a research note on Friday, August 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $147.00 target price on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $128.29 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. Ligand Pharmaceuticals presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $136.47.

The company has a market cap of $2.44 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.03 and a beta of 1.27. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $112.23 and its 200 day moving average price is $116.64.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The biotechnology company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.10. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 11.64% and a net margin of 263.14%. The firm earned $19.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.12 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.81 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.45 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,666 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.40, for a total transaction of $175,596.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 40,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,298,528.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total value of $115,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 39,983 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,598,045. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the first quarter valued at $268,000. Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 107.9% in the first quarter. Columbia Partners L L C Investment Management now owns 44,838 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $4,801,000 after buying an additional 23,271 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,377,004 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $147,463,000 after buying an additional 23,969 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 165.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,381 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 860 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 43.2% in the first quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 60,323 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $6,460,000 after buying an additional 18,206 shares in the last quarter.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:LGND

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