Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (ONCE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday, May 11th.

According to Zacks, “Spark Therapeutics, Inc. offers gene therapy. The Company’s product candidate consist of SPK-RPE65, SPK-CHM, SPK-FIX which are in different clinical phases, for the treatment of additional blinding conditions, hematologic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Spark Therapeutics, Inc. is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on ONCE. Vetr downgraded shares of Spark Therapeutics from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $70.50 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, February 28th. Wedbush restated an underperform rating and set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Spark Therapeutics in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Leerink Swann assumed coverage on shares of Spark Therapeutics in a report on Thursday, February 9th. They set an outperform rating and a $85.00 price objective for the company. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a buy rating and set a $94.00 target price on shares of Spark Therapeutics in a research report on Thursday, February 23rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their price objective on shares of Spark Therapeutics from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, February 23rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $68.31.

Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ ONCE) opened at 58.51 on Thursday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $55.74 and its 200 day moving average is $56.40. The firm’s market capitalization is $1.82 billion. Spark Therapeutics has a 1-year low of $35.07 and a 1-year high of $65.99.

Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The biotechnology company reported ($1.70) EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($1.36) by $0.34. The firm had revenue of $1.27 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.35 million. Spark Therapeutics had a negative net margin of 745.48% and a negative return on equity of 44.06%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.95) EPS. Analysts predict that Spark Therapeutics will post ($6.90) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, General Counsel Barge Joseph La sold 5,000 shares of Spark Therapeutics stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $275,000.00. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 9,567 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $526,185. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Stephen W. Webster sold 10,000 shares of Spark Therapeutics stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.18, for a total transaction of $551,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 4,398 shares in the company, valued at $242,681.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 38,958 shares of company stock worth $2,138,111 over the last three months. Insiders own 7.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ONCE. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Spark Therapeutics by 11,332.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,840,214 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $98,158,000 after buying an additional 1,824,117 shares during the last quarter. Baker BROS. Advisors LP bought a new position in shares of Spark Therapeutics during the third quarter worth about $79,180,000. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in shares of Spark Therapeutics by 119.5% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 808,782 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $43,140,000 after buying an additional 440,287 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Spark Therapeutics by 131.8% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 522,894 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $27,891,000 after buying an additional 297,277 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Spark Therapeutics during the fourth quarter worth about $8,232,000. 89.00% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Spark Therapeutics Company Profile

Spark Therapeutics, Inc is a gene therapy company. The Company focuses on treating orphan diseases. It has a pipeline of product candidates targeting multiple rare blinding conditions, hematologic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Its pipeline includes a product candidate targeting choroideremia (CHM), which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial and a product candidate for hemophilia A, which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial.

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