Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Ligand’s Captisol formulation technology has resulted in partnerships with several leading drug companies like Novartis and Amgen that provide it with funds in the form of milestone and royalty payments. However, the company derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of two products – Promacta and Kyprolis. Any setback related to either of these two products could have a substantial impact on the company’s results. Notably, Ligand obtains Captisol from a single supplier. Hence any interruption in the supply of Captisol would have an adverse effect on the company’s results. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q2 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on LGND. BidaskClub upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 23rd. ValuEngine raised Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Roth Capital set a $120.00 price objective on Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $130.47.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ LGND) traded down 0.36% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $117.78. The company had a trading volume of 194,105 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $2.47 billion. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $114.92 and a 200 day moving average price of $108.32. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $87.50 and a 12 month high of $139.79.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The biotechnology company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.55 by $0.16. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a negative net margin of 2.91% and a positive return on equity of 2.57%. The business had revenue of $29.27 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.25 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.63 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post $2.78 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, Director Jason Aryeh sold 37,247 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.76, for a total value of $4,125,477.72. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 58,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,530,298.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 4,666 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total value of $559,920.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 143,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,260,440. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 59,534 shares of company stock valued at $6,694,514. Insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LGND. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 166,566.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,614,993 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $276,770,000 after buying an additional 2,613,424 shares in the last quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 42.3% in the first quarter. William Blair Investment Management LLC now owns 1,728,178 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $182,910,000 after buying an additional 513,531 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 4.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,687,618 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $178,618,000 after buying an additional 74,193 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Investment Management Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 8.0% in the first quarter. Stephens Investment Management Group LLC now owns 448,479 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $47,467,000 after buying an additional 33,144 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 12.4% in the first quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 369,985 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $39,159,000 after buying an additional 40,820 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 is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. 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.

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