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

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 equities analysts also recently commented on AMPH. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $19.00 target price on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $19.00 price objective (down previously from $20.00) on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Needham & Company LLC upped their price objective on shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from $18.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $20.29.

Shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMPH) remained flat at $18.41 during mid-day trading on Friday. 126,448 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $17.43 and its 200-day moving average is $16.54. The company has a market cap of $850.45 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 239.09 and a beta of 1.69. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has a 12-month low of $12.05 and a 12-month high of $21.75.

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

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, August 9th that authorizes the company to repurchase $20.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 2.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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In other Amphastar Pharmaceuticals news, EVP Diane G. Gerst sold 8,444 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.87, for a total value of $159,338.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Richard K. Prins sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.80, for a total transaction of $74,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 33,844 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $500,891.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 154,038 shares of company stock valued at $2,780,352 in the last 90 days. 11.10% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 0.3% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 39,250 shares of the company’s stock valued at $701,000 after buying an additional 101 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System raised its holdings in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 18,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $271,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its holdings in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 2.8% in the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 8,430 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 28,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $512,000 after buying an additional 312 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 8,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 549 shares during the last quarter. 44.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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