Ligand Pharmaceuticals Target of Unusually High Options Trading (LGND)

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors bought 6,236 call options on the company. This is an increase of 3,384% compared to the typical daily volume of 179 call options.

In related news, Director John W. Kozarich sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $275.04, for a total value of $687,600.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 26,142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,190,095.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, COO Matthew W. Foehr sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $273.88, for a total transaction of $3,286,560.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 105,388 shares in the company, valued at $28,863,665.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 119,922 shares of company stock worth $30,297,452. 7.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 2.5% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,346,406 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $918,554,000 after acquiring an additional 81,432 shares during the period. Summit Trail Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 14,496.1% during the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 1,948,730 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $1,949,000 after acquiring an additional 1,935,379 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 927,101 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $192,068,000 after acquiring an additional 54,990 shares during the period. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 12.8% during the 3rd quarter. Conestoga Capital Advisors LLC now owns 566,223 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $155,423,000 after acquiring an additional 64,329 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 5.3% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 537,355 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $111,324,000 after acquiring an additional 27,075 shares during the period.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on LGND shares. Stephens reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $248.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. HC Wainwright reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $249.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Craig Hallum increased their price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from $230.00 to $260.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. BidaskClub cut shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, Argus set a $300.00 price target on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $227.00.

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals stock traded down $12.60 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $158.59. 824,542 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,011,161. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a twelve month low of $126.50 and a twelve month high of $278.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.46, a P/E/G ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 2.34 and a quick ratio of 2.32.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The biotechnology company reported $1.32 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.29. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 52.10% and a return on equity of 25.95%. The company had revenue of $45.66 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $41.99 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.69 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 36.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will post 5.71 EPS for the current year.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and acquiring technologies that help pharmaceutical companies to discover and develop medicines worldwide. Its commercial programs include Promacta, an oral medicine that increases the number of platelets in the blood; Kyprolis and Evomela, which are used to treat multiple myeloma; Baxdela, a captisol-enabled delafloxacin-IV for the treatment of acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; Nexterone, a captisol-enabled formulation of amiodarone; Noxafil-IV, a captisol-enabled formulation of posaconazole for IV use; Carnexiv, which is indicated as replacement therapy for oral carbamazepine formulations; bazedoxifene for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis; commercial pericardial repair and CanGaroo envelope extracellular matrix products; Exemptia for autoimmune diseases; Vivitra for breast cancer; and Bryxta for non-small cell lung cancer.

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