Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The company’s lead product candidate, ATHX-105, is an oral, selective 5HT2c receptor agonist in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. The company is also developing other orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE). Athersys is developing MultiStem(r), its patented, adult-derived “off the shelf” stem cell product platform, for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. “

Separately, Maxim Group set a $12.00 price target on Athersys and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, August 7th.

Shares of Athersys (ATHX) remained flat at $1.75 during midday trading on Thursday. 614,487 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s market cap is $199.34 million. Athersys has a 52 week low of $1.02 and a 52 week high of $2.30. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $1.61 and a 200 day moving average price of $1.46.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.06). Athersys had a negative return on equity of 121.47% and a negative net margin of 729.07%. The company had revenue of $0.67 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $0.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.08) EPS. Athersys’s quarterly revenue was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Athersys will post ($0.24) earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 36,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1.45, for a total transaction of $52,200.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 712,743 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,033,477.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ATHX. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Athersys by 4.8% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 61,176 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE raised its stake in Athersys by 17.2% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 61,580 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 9,019 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its stake in Athersys by 329.7% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 73,434 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 56,345 shares during the last quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board bought a new stake in Athersys during the second quarter valued at $113,000. Finally, Blair William & Co. IL raised its stake in Athersys by 708.0% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 80,804 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 70,804 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 19.08% of the company’s stock.

About Athersys

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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