Agenus (AGEN) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $4.50 price objective on the biotechnology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 15.09% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Agenus from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, December 9th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 29th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Agenus has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $5.88.

Agenus (NASDAQ AGEN) traded up $0.40 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $3.91. 5,814,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,791,700. Agenus has a 1 year low of $3.20 and a 1 year high of $5.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39, a current ratio of 1.55 and a quick ratio of 1.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $339.31, a P/E ratio of -3.34 and a beta of 2.11.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of ($0.37). The company had revenue of $3.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.91 million. Agenus’s revenue was down 24.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Agenus will post -1.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Agenus news, CEO Garo H. Armen purchased 100,000 shares of Agenus stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The shares were bought at an average price of $3.55 per share, for a total transaction of $355,000.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total transaction of $28,918.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 109,879 shares in the company, valued at approximately $380,181.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 20,514 shares of company stock worth $70,978 in the last 90 days. 7.90% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Agenus by 15.1% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 144,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $566,000 after acquiring an additional 19,000 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Agenus by 11.4% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 520,142 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,033,000 after acquiring an additional 53,343 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in Agenus by 4.1% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 941,631 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $3,682,000 after acquiring an additional 37,239 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Agenus by 511.9% during the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 88,942 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $392,000 after acquiring an additional 74,407 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Artal Group S.A. increased its position in Agenus by 25.0% during the third quarter. Artal Group S.A. now owns 2,500,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $11,025,000 after acquiring an additional 500,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 37.87% of the company’s stock.

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Agenus Company Profile

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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