Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc (NYSEMKT:AST) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company. It is focused on the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s technologies center on stem cells capable of becoming all of the cell types in the human body, a property called pluripotency. It develops therapies based on pluripotent stem cells to treat diseases or injuries in a variety of medical fields, with an initial focus on the therapeutic areas of neurology and oncology. Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. is based in Menlo Park, California. “

AST has been the topic of a number of other research reports. FBR & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. HC Wainwright reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $10.00 price objective on shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics in a research report on Sunday, September 11th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $7.19.

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) opened at 5.05 on Wednesday. Asterias Biotherapeutics has a one year low of $2.30 and a one year high of $5.80. The stock’s market capitalization is $234.43 million. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $3.91 and a 200-day moving average price of $3.39.

Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 14th. The company reported ($0.24) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.17) by $0.07. The company earned $2.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.50 million. Analysts anticipate that Asterias Biotherapeutics will post ($0.81) earnings per share for the current year.

In other Asterias Biotherapeutics news, COO Katharine E. Spink sold 19,336 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total transaction of $68,062.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Edward Wirth sold 14,760 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.52, for a total value of $51,955.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Northeast Financial Consultants Inc raised its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 1,990.6% in the third quarter. Northeast Financial Consultants Inc now owns 732,265 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,105,000 after buying an additional 697,239 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 114.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 586,720 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,408,000 after buying an additional 313,067 shares during the last quarter. Sabby Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics during the second quarter valued at about $741,000. KCG Holdings Inc. raised its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 273.3% in the third quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 72,989 shares of the company’s stock valued at $309,000 after buying an additional 53,438 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Asterias Biotherapeutics by 100.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Investment Management LLC now owns 73,307 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,000 after buying an additional 36,782 shares during the last quarter.

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About Asterias Biotherapeutics

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company is engaged in developing and commercializing therapies in the fields of cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The Company has over two technology platforms. The first is an immunotherapy platform to teach cancer patients’ immune systems to attack their tumors.

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