Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $1.75 price objective on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 6.06% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The company’s lead product candidate, ATHX-105, is an oral, selective 5HT2c receptor agonist in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. The company is also developing other orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE). Athersys is developing MultiStem(r), its patented, adult-derived “off the shelf” stem cell product platform, for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. “

Separately, Maxim Group set a $9.00 price target on shares of Athersys and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th.

Shares of Athersys (NASDAQ ATHX) traded up 5.77% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $1.65. 1,490,829 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s market cap is $187.95 million. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $1.58 and a 200 day moving average of $1.42. Athersys has a one year low of $1.02 and a one year high of $2.30.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.06). Athersys had a negative net margin of 729.07% and a negative return on equity of 121.47%. The business had revenue of $0.67 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.96 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.08) earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Athersys will post ($0.24) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 36,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1.45, for a total transaction of $52,200.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 712,743 shares in the company, valued at $1,033,477.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 9.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 7,334.0% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 380,846 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $576,000 after buying an additional 375,723 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 9.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,265,772 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,441,000 after buying an additional 366,572 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 30.8% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,123,870 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,697,000 after buying an additional 264,549 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 102.0% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 123,576 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $187,000 after buying an additional 62,400 shares during the period. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL boosted its position in shares of Athersys by 708.0% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 80,804 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 70,804 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 18.12% of the company’s stock.

Athersys Company Profile

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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