Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report report published on Monday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company. It focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders in the United States and internationally. The Company’s drug pipeline consists of volanesorsen, AKCEA-APO(a)-LRx, AKCEA-ANGPTL3-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx which are in clinical stage. Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “

Separately, ValuEngine lowered Akcea Therapeutics from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Akcea Therapeutics has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.40.

Shares of Akcea Therapeutics stock opened at $21.73 on Monday. Akcea Therapeutics has a fifty-two week low of $20.80 and a fifty-two week high of $40.75. The firm has a market cap of $1.99 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -7.93 and a beta of 1.39.

Akcea Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKCA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by ($0.90). Akcea Therapeutics had a negative return on equity of 59.75% and a negative net margin of 79.88%. The business had revenue of $163.82 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $171.40 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.44) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 857.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Akcea Therapeutics will post -0.21 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, COO Jeff Marc Goldberg sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.71, for a total value of $1,585,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 32,880 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,042,624.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Paula Soteropoulos sold 18,386 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.14, for a total value of $590,926.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 18,386 shares in the company, valued at $590,926.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 130,173 shares of company stock worth $4,148,407 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 3.64% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,381,506 shares of the company’s stock worth $403,318,000 after buying an additional 523,834 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics by 6.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,011,429 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,625,000 after buying an additional 113,784 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 1,191,511 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,727,000 after buying an additional 31,714 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics by 2.7% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,191,511 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,727,000 after buying an additional 31,714 shares during the period. Finally, Bellevue Group AG raised its position in shares of Akcea Therapeutics by 9.5% in the 4th quarter. Bellevue Group AG now owns 458,296 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,813,000 after buying an additional 39,800 shares during the period. 25.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Akcea Therapeutics Company Profile

Akcea Therapeutics, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious and rare diseases in the United States and internationally. The company offers TEGSEDI, which is designed to reduce the production of transthyretin protein. It develops WAYLIVRA, which has completed Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial chylomicronemia syndrome; and that is in Phase III clinical study for the treatment of familial partial lipodystrophy.

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