QLT Inc. (NASDAQ:QLTI) (TSE:QLT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $2.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target suggests a potential upside of 9.89% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “QLT’s third-quarter loss came in line with expectations. The upcoming merger with Aegerion is in focus, which will lead to the formation of a global biopharmaceutical company, Novelion Therapeutics. Novelion will focus on rare diseases and create a diversified portfolio primarily consisting of Aegerion’s two marketed drugs – Juxtapid and Myalept – and QLT’s phase III ready  ophthalmology candidate (expected to begin before 2016 end), QLT091001. Moreover, merger with Aegerion will allow QLT to reap benefits from a larger scale and diversification, apart from creating a more liquid stock. The transaction is expected to close before the end of 2016. However, Juxtapid is witnessing continued sales erosion due to the availability of PCSK9 inhibitors. Aegerion is also looking to withdraw the drug from the EU and certain other global markets by 2016 end to mitigate competitive pressure.”

QLT (NASDAQ:QLTI) opened at 1.82 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $1.84 and a 200 day moving average price of $1.58. The firm’s market cap is $96.15 million. QLT has a one year low of $1.22 and a one year high of $3.01.

QLT (NASDAQ:QLTI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.01. During the same period last year, the firm earned ($0.05) earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that QLT will post ($0.73) EPS for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder Stonepine Capital, L.P. acquired 133,496 shares of QLT stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 15th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $1.55 per share, for a total transaction of $206,918.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 2.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of QLTI. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in QLT by 198.9% in the second quarter. Clear Harbor Asset Management LLC now owns 77,725 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 51,725 shares in the last quarter. Brandes Investment Partners LP boosted its stake in QLT by 32.7% in the second quarter. Brandes Investment Partners LP now owns 297,334 shares of the company’s stock worth $422,000 after buying an additional 73,263 shares in the last quarter. Stonepine Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in QLT during the second quarter worth $5,367,000. K2 Principal Fund L.P. acquired a new stake in QLT during the second quarter worth $2,306,000. Finally, Ancora Advisors LLC boosted its stake in QLT by 1.5% in the second quarter. Ancora Advisors LLC now owns 3,396,083 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,822,000 after buying an additional 48,964 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 61.08% of the company’s stock.

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About QLT

QLT Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of ocular products. The Company’s operations consist of clinical development programs focused on its synthetic retinoid, QLT091001, for the treatment of certain age-related and inherited retinal diseases (IRD) caused by retinal pigment epithelium protein 65 (RPE65) and lecithin: retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) gene mutations.

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