Zacks Investment Research Downgrades AveXis, Inc. (AVXS) to Hold

AveXis, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVXS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “AveXis, Inc. is a gene therapy company which develops and commercializes treatments for neurological genetic diseases primarily in United States. The Company’s product candidate consists of AVXS-101 which is in clinical trial for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy Type 1, the genetic cause of infant mortality. AveXis, Inc. is headquartered in Bannockburn, Illinois. “

Several other analysts have also issued reports on AVXS. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on shares of AveXis in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of AveXis in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $118.00 target price for the company. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $123.00 target price on shares of AveXis in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Chardan Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 target price (up previously from $102.50) on shares of AveXis in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $108.00 target price (up previously from $92.00) on shares of AveXis in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $107.78.

AveXis (NASDAQ AVXS) opened at 104.51 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $97.82 and a 200-day moving average of $86.26. AveXis has a 12 month low of $44.68 and a 12 month high of $107.02. The company’s market cap is $3.34 billion.

AveXis (NASDAQ:AVXS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 10th. The company reported ($2.07) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.97) by ($1.10). During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($0.68) EPS. Equities research analysts expect that AveXis will post ($6.22) EPS for the current year.

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In related news, VP Sukumar Nagendran sold 1,780 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.25, for a total transaction of $173,105.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 1,780 shares in the company, valued at $173,105. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Brian K. Kaspar sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.46, for a total transaction of $1,521,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 18,560 shares of company stock valued at $1,860,990. 18.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System lifted its holdings in AveXis by 19.1% during the third quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 12,968 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,254,000 after purchasing an additional 2,080 shares during the last quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. lifted its holdings in AveXis by 270.8% during the third quarter. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. now owns 24,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,410,000 after purchasing an additional 18,195 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in AveXis by 3.5% during the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 163,613 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,826,000 after purchasing an additional 5,551 shares during the last quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new stake in AveXis during the third quarter valued at about $1,451,000. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP purchased a new stake in AveXis during the third quarter valued at about $2,395,000. Institutional investors own 94.71% of the company’s stock.

About AveXis

AveXis, Inc is a clinical-stage gene therapy company. The Company operates through the developing and commercializing gene therapy treatments for patients suffering from neurological genetic diseases segment. The Company’s product candidate, AVXS-101, is its gene therapy product candidate that is in a Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1, which is a genetic disorder characterized by motor neuron loss and associated muscle deterioration.

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