First Trust Advisors LP decreased its stake in Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) by 16.1% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 16,865 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock after selling 3,245 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned about 0.08% of Ligand Pharmaceuticals worth $2,011,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of LGND. 1832 Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the first quarter valued at $80,340,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at $44,004,000. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter valued at $16,715,000. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D acquired a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at about $17,891,000. Finally, Bellevue Group AG acquired a new position in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals during the first quarter valued at about $8,763,000.
Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) traded down 2.01% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $115.78. The company had a trading volume of 192,613 shares. Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has a 52-week low of $79.66 and a 52-week high of $139.79. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $111.33 and a 200 day moving average price of $116.75. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.92 and a beta of 1.27.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 4th. The biotechnology company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.10. The company earned $19.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $18.12 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 263.14% and a return on equity of 11.64%. Ligand Pharmaceuticals’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.81 EPS. Analysts expect that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. will post $3.45 earnings per share for the current year.
LGND has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Roth Capital restated a “buy” rating and set a $151.00 target price on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $110.00 to $105.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $128.29 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $136.47.
In other Ligand Pharmaceuticals news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.34, for a total value of $352,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 122,664 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,393,393.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director John W. Kozarich sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.57, for a total transaction of $137,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 41,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,748,087.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 14.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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 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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