Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) Sees Large Volume Increase on Earnings Beat

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:LGND) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Tuesday following a better than expected earnings announcement. 912,727 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 327% from the previous session’s volume of 213,839 shares.The stock last traded at $128.97 and had previously closed at $121.83.

The biotechnology company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.42. The company had revenue of $28 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $24.40 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 5.05% and a net margin of 7.39%. Ligand Pharmaceuticals’s revenue for the quarter was up 43.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.50 earnings per share.

LGND has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Stephens reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $137.00 price target (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. TheStreet upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, August 7th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $103.00 to $104.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Roth Capital lifted their price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $120.00 to $135.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $133.71.

In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.87, for a total value of $1,378,440.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 151,171 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,365,012.77. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Charles S. Berkman sold 18,625 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $126.96, for a total value of $2,364,630.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 24,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,100,744.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 46,874 shares of company stock valued at $5,766,176 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 14.70% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LGND. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $500,000. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 9.4% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 1,799 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $218,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the period. Castleark Management LLC purchased a new position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at approximately $9,552,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 6.1% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 15,630 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,897,000 after buying an additional 896 shares during the period. Finally, Osterweis Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 27.6% in the second quarter. Osterweis Capital Management Inc. now owns 39,029 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $4,738,000 after buying an additional 8,450 shares during the period.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2.66 billion, a PE ratio of 307.95 and a beta of 0.96. The company’s 50-day moving average is $122.18 and its 200-day moving average is $112.68.

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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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