Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday, July 11th.

According to Zacks, “Ligand’s Captisol formulation technology has resulted in partnerships with several leading drug companies like Novartis and Amgen that provide it with funds in the form of milestone and royalty payments. However, the company derives a substantial portion of its revenues from royalties associated with the sales of two products – Promacta and Kyprolis. Any setback related to either of these two products could have a substantial impact on the company’s results. Notably, Ligand obtains Captisol from a single supplier. Hence any interruption in the supply of Captisol would have an adverse effect on the company’s results. Shares of Ligand have outperformed the broader industry in the last one year. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q2 earnings release. The company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

LGND has been the topic of several other research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Roth Capital set a $120.00 price target on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ligand Pharmaceuticals presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $130.18.

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) traded down 0.19% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $121.83. 224,649 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s market cap is $2.56 billion. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $87.50 and a 12 month high of $130.06. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $119.76 and a 200-day moving average of $110.74.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last announced its earnings results on Monday, August 7th. The biotechnology company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $28 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.40 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a negative net margin of 2.91% and a positive return on equity of 2.57%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post $2.66 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.87, for a total value of $1,378,440.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 151,171 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,365,012.77. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO John L. Higgins sold 4,666 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.00, for a total transaction of $559,920.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 143,837 shares in the company, valued at $17,260,440. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 59,534 shares of company stock worth $6,694,514 in the last three months. Insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LGND. Tyers Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 23.3% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 1,036 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 196 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 43.2% in the first quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,197 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 361 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 23.3% in the first quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 1,258 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 238 shares during the period. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 225.0% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,300 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $157,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the period. Finally, First Mercantile Trust Co. boosted its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1.6% in the second quarter. First Mercantile Trust Co. now owns 1,310 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 20 shares during the period.

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 is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. 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.

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