Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Geron is optimistic about the agreement with J&J for its lead pipeline candidate – imetelstat – which provides it a strong partner as well as funds. Imetelstat is being developed for the treatment of myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndromes. In 2016, J&J announced unfavorable findings from the planned internal reviews of initial data from the two studies of imetelstat, IMbark and IMerge. However, in April 2017, Geron informed that Janssen has completed the second internal data review of the two studies and as a result of the review, both trials are continuing unmodified. However, Geron's dependence on a single pipeline candidate, imetelstat, raises concerns. Earnings estimates have increased lately ahead of the company’s Q2 earnings release. Geron has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. FBR & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Geron Corporation in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $2.50 price target on shares of Geron Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $5.00 price target on shares of Geron Corporation in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $3.88.

Geron Corporation (GERN) remained flat at $2.81 on Tuesday. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 610,977 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $2.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $2.36. The stock’s market capitalization is $447.28 million. Geron Corporation has a 12 month low of $1.81 and a 12 month high of $3.15.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.05) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.05). The company had revenue of $0.54 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.27 million. Geron Corporation had a negative return on equity of 22.35% and a negative net margin of 468.54%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.06) EPS. On average, analysts anticipate that Geron Corporation will post ($0.21) EPS for the current year.

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A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of GERN. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 26.5% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 65,403 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 13,698 shares during the period. KCG Holdings Inc. raised its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 132.5% in the first quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 167,755 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $381,000 after buying an additional 95,615 shares during the period. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Geron Corporation during the first quarter valued at $820,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 11.0% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,212,214 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,751,000 after buying an additional 120,222 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 7.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,112,183 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $16,145,000 after buying an additional 502,485 shares during the period. 38.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Geron Corporation

Geron Corporation (Geron) is a biopharmaceutical company, which supports the clinical stage development of a telomerase inhibitor, Imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies by Janssen Biotech, Inc (Janssen). The Company is engaged in the development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that binds with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity.

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