Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub downgraded Agenus from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 9th. ValuEngine downgraded Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $5.88.

Shares of Agenus (NASDAQ AGEN) traded down $0.01 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $3.87. The company had a trading volume of 578,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,432,544. Agenus has a 52-week low of $3.20 and a 52-week high of $5.45. The firm has a market cap of $336.69, a P/E ratio of -3.31 and a beta of 2.11. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of ($0.37). The company had revenue of $3.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.91 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 24.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Agenus will post -1.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Garo H. Armen purchased 100,000 shares of Agenus stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 30th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $3.55 per share, with a total value of $355,000.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total transaction of $28,918.68. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 109,879 shares in the company, valued at approximately $380,181.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 20,514 shares of company stock valued at $70,978 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 7.90% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Artal Group S.A. lifted its holdings in Agenus by 25.0% in the third quarter. Artal Group S.A. now owns 2,500,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $11,025,000 after acquiring an additional 500,000 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Agenus by 5.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,530,585 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $13,805,000 after acquiring an additional 174,162 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its holdings in Agenus by 511.9% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 88,942 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $392,000 after acquiring an additional 74,407 shares during the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. lifted its holdings in Agenus by 12.8% in the third quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 617,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $2,724,000 after acquiring an additional 70,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in Agenus by 42.7% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 192,900 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $851,000 after acquiring an additional 57,696 shares during the last quarter. 37.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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