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

According to Zacks, “Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company. It focuses primarily on developing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling generic and proprietary injectable and inhalation products. The company products include Enoxaparin Sodium Injection; Amphadase; Cortrosyn for Injection; and prefilled disposable emergency syringes for crash cart use. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on AMPH. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $19.00 price target (down from $20.00) on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals in a report on Friday, August 11th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Needham & Company LLC upped their price objective on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.17.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ AMPH) remained flat at $18.70 during midday trading on Tuesday. The stock had a trading volume of 91,230 shares. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $12.05 and a one year high of $21.75. The stock has a market cap of $863.85 million, a PE ratio of 242.86 and a beta of 1.69. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $16.58 and a 200-day moving average price of $16.23.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMPH) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The company reported $0.11 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $65.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $63.40 million. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 1.61% and a return on equity of 2.42%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.23 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Amphastar Pharmaceuticals will post $0.27 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, August 9th that permits the company to buyback $20.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 2.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, Director Richard K. Prins sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.80, for a total transaction of $74,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 33,844 shares in the company, valued at approximately $500,891.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Floyd F. Petersen sold 39,312 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.59, for a total value of $730,810.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 126,380 shares of company stock worth $2,268,933 in the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 11.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in AMPH. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its position in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 13.0% during the 1st quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 50,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $738,000 after buying an additional 5,841 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 11.4% during the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 519,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,536,000 after buying an additional 53,214 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank lifted its position in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 39,612 shares of the company’s stock valued at $600,000 after buying an additional 1,570 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank lifted its position in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 5.3% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 59,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $861,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its position in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 7.6% during the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 149,375 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,166,000 after buying an additional 10,600 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.26% of the company’s stock.

About Amphastar Pharmaceuticals

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a specialty pharmaceutical company. The Company focuses primarily on developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling generic and injectable, inhalation and intranasal products. The Company has two segments: finished pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) products.

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