Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of Put Options on Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders bought 2,559 put options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,853% compared to the typical daily volume of 131 put options.

LGND has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Barclays decreased their target price on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $131.00 to $110.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, August 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $95.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. Argus set a $140.00 target price on Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 10th. ValuEngine cut Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub cut Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ligand Pharmaceuticals presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $147.80.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock traded up $6.22 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $98.02. 227,586 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 498,553. The firm has a market cap of $1.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.61, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a current ratio of 13.23, a quick ratio of 13.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.61. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $94.26 and a 200 day moving average of $112.17. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $84.45 and a 12 month high of $278.62.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The biotechnology company reported $0.68 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.38 by $0.30. The firm had revenue of $24.99 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.01 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 11.24% and a net margin of 389.58%. The company’s revenue was down 72.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $2.59 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 2.28 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Sunil Patel acquired 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $95.98 per share, for a total transaction of $95,980.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 26,359 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,529,936.82. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Jason Aryeh acquired 4,004 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 31st. The stock was purchased at an average price of $99.22 per share, for a total transaction of $397,276.88. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 61,953 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,146,976.66. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased 8,600 shares of company stock worth $828,747 in the last 90 days. 8.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 12.6% in the first quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 805 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% in the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 8,503 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,069,000 after acquiring an additional 92 shares during the period. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 64.4% in the first quarter. FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC now owns 337 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $43,000 after acquiring an additional 132 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 188.6% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 228 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $26,000 after acquiring an additional 149 shares during the period. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 23.5% in the second quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 820 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $95,000 after acquiring an additional 156 shares during the period.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies to discover and develop medicines worldwide. Its commercial programs include Promacta, an oral medicine that increases the number of platelets in the blood; Kyprolis and Evomela, which are used to treat multiple myeloma; Baxdela, a captisol-enabled delafloxacin-IV for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; Nexterone, a captisol-enabled formulation of amiodarone; Noxafil-IV, a captisol-enabled formulation of posaconazole for IV use; Carnexiv, which is indicated as replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine formulations; bazedoxifene for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis; Aziyo portfolio of commercial pericardial repair and CanGaroo envelope extracellular matrix products; Exemptia for autoimmune diseases; Vivitra for breast cancer; and Bryxta for non-small cell lung cancer.

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