Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND) to Post $1.06 EPS

Wall Street analysts forecast that Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:LGND) will post $1.06 earnings per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Three analysts have made estimates for Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.07 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.04. Ligand Pharmaceuticals reported earnings of $0.74 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 43.2%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd.

On average, analysts expect that Ligand Pharmaceuticals will report full-year earnings of $2.98 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.95 to $3.00. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report earnings of $3.47 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.25 to $3.60. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Ligand Pharmaceuticals.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 9th. The biotechnology company reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.32. The company had revenue of $33.38 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.04 million. Ligand Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 7.83% and a net margin of 12.76%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 54.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share.

LGND has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. HC Wainwright reissued a “buy” rating and set a $157.00 price objective on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Roth Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $158.00 price target (up previously from $135.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Craig Hallum reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $170.00 price target (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered Ligand Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $105.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $150.67.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ LGND) traded down $0.71 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $141.38. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 251,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 180,940. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,980.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 204.90, a P/E/G ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.97 and a quick ratio of 0.95. Ligand Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $95.08 and a one year high of $149.31.

In other news, CEO John L. Higgins sold 5,269 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.53, for a total value of $750,990.57. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 143,542 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,459,041.26. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Matthew E. Korenberg sold 6,559 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.63, for a total value of $935,510.17. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,147 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,162,006.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 17,753 shares of company stock worth $2,522,007. Corporate insiders own 8.30% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 2nd quarter valued at $72,293,000. Stifel Financial Corp raised its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 1,447.2% in the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 109,124 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $14,839,000 after buying an additional 102,071 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 27.3% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 471,058 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $57,186,000 after buying an additional 101,073 shares during the period. Castleark Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals in the 2nd quarter valued at $9,552,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised its holdings in shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals by 85.4% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 167,943 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $20,388,000 after buying an additional 77,337 shares during the period.

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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 is involved in the development and licensing of biopharmaceutical assets. 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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