Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $93.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a RNA-targeted drug discovery and development company which focuses on developing drugs for severe and rare diseases. Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., formerly known as Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. “

IONS has been the subject of several other research reports. TheStreet raised Ionis Pharmaceuticals from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Friday, March 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Ionis Pharmaceuticals from $47.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, March 18th. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Ionis Pharmaceuticals from $70.00 to $82.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. ValuEngine raised Ionis Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies raised their price target on Ionis Pharmaceuticals to $60.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $66.00.

NASDAQ IONS opened at $72.99 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $10.10 billion, a PE ratio of 24.66 and a beta of 2.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 7.88 and a quick ratio of 7.85. Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $39.07 and a 12 month high of $86.58.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 27th. The company reported $2.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.04) by $2.46. The company had revenue of $192.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $159.59 million. Ionis Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 41.89% and a net margin of 45.64%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.03) EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Ionis Pharmaceuticals will post -0.05 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Ionis Pharmaceuticals news, Director B Lynne Parshall sold 8,333 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $583,310.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 61,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,270,700. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP C Frank Bennett sold 9,013 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.29, for a total value of $525,367.77. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 33,541 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,955,104.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 371,205 shares of company stock valued at $26,749,487 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.44% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in IONS. Huntington National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 159.3% during the fourth quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 638 shares of the company’s stock worth $34,000 after buying an additional 392 shares in the last quarter. Essex Savings Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $39,000. Laurel Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $43,000. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 29.0% during the fourth quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 890 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Portfolio Solutions LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals during the fourth quarter worth $54,000. 85.05% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc discovers and develops RNA-targeted therapeutics in the United States. The company offers SPINRAZA for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in pediatric and adult patients; and TEGSEDI, an injection for the treatment of polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis in adults.

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