Eagle Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) by 17.2% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 168,654 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock after buying an additional 24,711 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. owned 0.81% of Ligand Pharmaceuticals worth $17,212,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Atlantic Trust Group LLC purchased a new stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth $20,024,000. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 8.0% in the third quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 339,467 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $34,646,000 after buying an additional 25,220 shares during the period. Rice Hall James & Associates LLC boosted 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 during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth approximately $572,000. Finally, BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 37,627 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $4,488,000 after buying an additional 1,111 shares during the period.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) traded down 0.39% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $104.95. The company had a trading volume of 51,047 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 300.72 and a beta of 1.43. Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has a 1-year low of $82.06 and a 1-year high of $139.79. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $99.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $112.20.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 3rd. The biotechnology company reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.03. The business earned $21.62 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.64 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 9.98% and a net margin of 8.51%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.57 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.40 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of equities analysts have commented on LGND shares. Roth Capital set a $154.00 price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. CJS Securities decreased their price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $130.00 to $125.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Vetr raised Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $128.29 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $110.00 to $105.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $139.70.

In other news, Director Jason Aryeh sold 18,479 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.31, for a total value of $1,982,981.49. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 58,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,326,890.29. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 3,000 shares of the firm’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 directly owns 122,664 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,393,393.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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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