Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

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. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $12.00 price objective on shares of Athersys in a report on Friday, September 1st. ValuEngine raised Athersys from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $7.17.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) traded down 7.85% on Tuesday, reaching $2.23. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,590,225 shares. The firm’s market cap is $254.02 million. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $2.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $1.66. Athersys has a 52-week low of $1.02 and a 52-week high of $2.63.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.06). The company had revenue of $0.67 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.96 million. Athersys had a negative return on equity of 121.47% and a negative net margin of 729.07%. Athersys’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted ($0.08) EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Athersys will post ($0.24) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $2.17, for a total transaction of $32,550.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 679,416 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,474,332.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ATHX. Bank of America Corp DE raised its holdings in shares of Athersys by 17.2% during the 1st quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 61,580 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 9,019 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its holdings in shares of Athersys by 4.8% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 61,176 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its holdings in shares of Athersys by 329.7% during the 2nd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 73,434 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 56,345 shares in the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board purchased a new position in shares of Athersys during the 2nd quarter valued at about $113,000. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL raised its holdings in shares of Athersys by 708.0% during the 2nd 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 in the last quarter. 19.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Athersys

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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