Zacks Investment Research Lowers Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on IONS. BMO Capital Markets dropped their price target on shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals from $96.00 to $95.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $75.00 target price on shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, May 24th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, April 18th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $66.75.

IONS traded down $1.58 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $64.49. 811,522 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,030,436. The company has a market cap of $9.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.79 and a beta of 2.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 9.40 and a quick ratio of 9.36. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $65.17. Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a 12-month low of $41.25 and a 12-month high of $86.58.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $297.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $285.43 million. Ionis Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 47.74% and a return on equity of 44.03%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 106.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.01) EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Ionis Pharmaceuticals will post -0.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Frederick T. Muto sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.75, for a total value of $582,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 17,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,294,513.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stanley T. Crooke sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.25, for a total transaction of $702,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 79,634 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,594,288.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 48,210 shares of company stock valued at $3,232,844. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Chicago Equity Partners LLC lifted its position in Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 56.7% during the 2nd quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 14,780 shares of the company’s stock valued at $950,000 after acquiring an additional 5,350 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank lifted its position in Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 80.1% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 428,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,553,000 after acquiring an additional 190,600 shares during the period. Comerica Bank lifted its position in Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 15,590 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,051,000 after acquiring an additional 170 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 13.3% during the 2nd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 59,601 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,831,000 after acquiring an additional 6,986 shares during the period. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR lifted its position in Ionis Pharmaceuticals by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 22,394 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,439,000 after acquiring an additional 846 shares during the period. 82.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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