Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Nektar has a promising pipeline with several pipeline and regulatory updates lined up for the next several quarters. Additionally, regular partnerships have enhanced the company’s financial position. Nektar stands to receive significant sales milestone payment plus royalties for Movantik, Adynovate and Neulasta under the license agreement with AstraZeneca, Shire and Amgen, respectively. Also, its recent co-development deal with Lilly for NKTR-358 and Bristol-Myers for NKTR-214 is encouraging. The deals provide revenues as well as reduce expenses by sharing research costs. On the flip side, Nektar relies heavily on partners for revenues. Partnership-related setbacks may thus weigh heavily on the company. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past six months.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. HC Wainwright set a $54.00 target price on shares of Nektar Therapeutics and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. BidaskClub cut shares of Nektar Therapeutics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. ValuEngine cut shares of Nektar Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on shares of Nektar Therapeutics in a report on Thursday, December 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group dropped their price objective on shares of Nektar Therapeutics from $103.00 to $73.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nektar Therapeutics has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $82.10.

Shares of NASDAQ:NKTR opened at $41.01 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $7.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -74.56 and a beta of 2.79. Nektar Therapeutics has a 1-year low of $29.22 and a 1-year high of $111.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 13.80 and a current ratio of 13.93.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.56) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.63) by $0.07. The company had revenue of $27.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.08 million. Nektar Therapeutics had a net margin of 59.71% and a return on equity of 79.66%. The firm’s revenue was down 81.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.37 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Nektar Therapeutics will post 3.66 EPS for the current year.

In related news, CFO Gil M. Labrucherie sold 6,515 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.25, for a total value of $249,198.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Howard W. Robin sold 15,326 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.25, for a total transaction of $586,219.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 249,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,529,643.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 36,363 shares of company stock worth $1,390,885. Corporate insiders own 4.31% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. FMR LLC grew its position in Nektar Therapeutics by 6.7% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 25,705,902 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,255,220,000 after buying an additional 1,608,834 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc grew its position in Nektar Therapeutics by 3.6% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 18,922,650 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,153,525,000 after buying an additional 660,907 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,121,756 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $799,902,000 after purchasing an additional 463,152 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its position in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 3.8% during the 3rd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 12,002,260 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $731,658,000 after purchasing an additional 441,481 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Nektar Therapeutics by 176.2% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 2,068,900 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $126,120,000 after purchasing an additional 1,319,776 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.08% of the company’s stock.

Nektar Therapeutics Company Profile

Nektar Therapeutics, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, discovers and develops drug candidates for cancer, auto-immune disease, and chronic pain in the United States. The company offers ONZEALD, a topoisomerase I inhibitor that is in Phase III clinical trial for advanced metastatic breast cancer in patients with brain metastases; NKTR-181, an orally-available mu-opioid analgesic molecule, which is in Phase III clinical trial for moderate to severe chronic pain; NKTR-214, a cytokine immunostimulatory therapy that is in Phase I/II to treat cancer; NKTR-358, which is in Phase I to treat autoimmune diseases; and NKTR-262 for solid tumors, as well as NKTR-255 that is under research/preclinical stage for immuno-oncology.

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