Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) to Hold

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Alexion topped earnings estimates but missed on revenues in the third quarter. The increase in earnings guidance was also positive. Alexion’s blockbuster drug, Soliris, continues to perform well and the FDA approval of the drug for generalized myasthenia gravis will further boost sales. Among new products, while Strensiq is gaining momentum, the company redefined its strategy for Kanuma which earlier lagged expectations. In order to focus better in core areas, Alexion has de-prioritized a few clinical programs and terminated its partnerships with Moderna Therapeutics, Blueprint Medicines and Arbutus Biopharma. However, the company relies heavily on Soliris for growth and sales of Soliris will be impacted by ramp of ALXN1210 trials while pricing will impact Strensiq revenues going forward.Shares of the company have underperformed the industry in the last six months.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada increased their price target on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals to $166.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. TheStreet raised shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Friday, July 14th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Friday, July 14th. BidaskClub cut shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $158.00 price target (up previously from $153.00) on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $154.01.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $1.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.32 by $0.12. The business had revenue of $859.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $864.34 million. Alexion Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 14.57% and a return on equity of 12.55%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.23 EPS.

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In other Alexion Pharmaceuticals news, Director Ann M. Veneman sold 835 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.81, for a total transaction of $121,751.35. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 5,480 shares in the company, valued at approximately $799,038.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Julie O’neill sold 11,160 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.00, for a total transaction of $1,562,400.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 26,704 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,738,560. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 16,490 shares of company stock valued at $2,337,251. 4.35% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ALXN. Fiduciary Trust Co. purchased a new stake in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals during the 2nd quarter valued at about $111,000. Huntington National Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 1,084.6% during the 2nd quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,078 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 987 shares during the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 1,248 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $151,000 after acquiring an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter valued at about $156,000. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals during the 2nd quarter valued at about $160,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.55% of the company’s stock.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products. The Company’s products include Soliris (eculizumab), Strensiq (asfotase alfa) and Kanuma (sebelipase alfa). The Company’s clinical development programs include Soliris (eculizumab), cPMP (ALXN1101), SBC-103, ALXN1210 (IV) and ALXN1210 (Subcutaneous).

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