Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) has earned a consensus rating of “Buy” from the eleven brokerages that are covering the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, six have assigned a buy recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $140.29.

LGND has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Craig Hallum boosted their price objective on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $150.00 to $160.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Roth Capital reissued a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, July 19th. HC Wainwright reissued a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 price objective (up previously from $146.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Deutsche Bank AG raised Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $110.00 to $105.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, TheStreet lowered Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 7th.

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) opened at 106.85 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $2.23 billion, a P/E ratio of 243.95 and a beta of 1.43. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $98.27 and its 200-day moving average is $113.40. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $82.06 and a 52-week high of $139.79.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 3rd. The biotechnology company reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.03. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 8.73% and a net margin of 8.51%. The company earned $21.62 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.64 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. Ligand Pharmaceuticals’s revenue was up 22.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post $3.41 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.00, for a total value of $115,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 39,983 shares in the company, valued at $4,598,045. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.34, for a total value of $352,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 122,664 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,393,393.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 10.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 699,788 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $74,940,000 after buying an additional 64,410 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth approximately $20,024,000. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC increased its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 0.8% in the second quarter. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC now owns 185,829 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $22,164,000 after buying an additional 1,458 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 165.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,381 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $147,000 after buying an additional 860 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth approximately $572,000.

About Ligand Pharmaceuticals

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Ligand) is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies discover and develop medicines. The Company employs research technologies, such as nuclear receptor assays, high throughput computer screening, formulation science, liver targeted pro-drug technologies and antibody discovery technologies to assist companies in their work toward obtaining prescription drug approvals.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:LGND

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