Gilead Sciences (GILD) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $85.00 price objective on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 13.67% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Gilead’s HIV franchise continues to gain traction, courtesy of the rapid adoption of TAF-based regimens in the United States and EU. The TAF-based regimens now represent 62% of total HIV prescription volume following the launch of Genvoya, Odefsey and Descovy in 2016. The approval of Gilead’s latest triple HIV therapy, Biktarvy, is likely to provide an impetus to the stock as Gilead is now banking on its HIV franchise and newer avenues like the CAR-T therapy post Kite acquisition. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the last twelve months. However, the HCV franchise is under tremendous pressure due to lower patient starts and increasing competition. Both pricing and market share are expected to stabilize by mid-2018 while patient starts are expected to decline further.”

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Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on GILD. Credit Suisse Group set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Gilead Sciences and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Barclays reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $95.00 price target (up from $90.00) on shares of Gilead Sciences in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. BidaskClub cut shares of Gilead Sciences from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, March 3rd. TheStreet cut shares of Gilead Sciences from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Mizuho set a $95.00 price target on shares of Gilead Sciences and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, February 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Gilead Sciences presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $88.65.

Shares of GILD stock traded down $0.90 during trading on Thursday, hitting $74.78. The company had a trading volume of 888,745 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,034,031. The company has a current ratio of 2.74, a quick ratio of 2.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53. The stock has a market cap of $98,401.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of -1.74 and a beta of 1.19. Gilead Sciences has a 52 week low of $63.76 and a 52 week high of $89.54.

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $1.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $5.95 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.71 billion. Gilead Sciences had a net margin of 17.73% and a return on equity of 50.29%. Gilead Sciences’s revenue for the quarter was down 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.70 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Gilead Sciences will post 6.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Gayle E. Wilson sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.92, for a total transaction of $4,675,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 182,258 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,201,543.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman John C. Martin sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.56, for a total value of $4,178,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 3,046,766 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $254,587,766.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 308,600 shares of company stock valued at $24,328,226. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Gilead Sciences by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 103,797,247 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $7,436,033,000 after acquiring an additional 1,552,359 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in Gilead Sciences by 1.5% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 30,542,928 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,188,095,000 after buying an additional 446,263 shares during the period. Parnassus Investments CA lifted its position in Gilead Sciences by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 19,159,748 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,372,604,000 after buying an additional 464,609 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Gilead Sciences by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,849,063 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,133,346,000 after buying an additional 379,867 shares during the period. Finally, Capital International Investors lifted its position in Gilead Sciences by 86.6% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 11,217,015 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $908,803,000 after buying an additional 5,205,983 shares during the period. 78.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, and commercializes therapeutics in the areas of unmet medical needs in the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company's products include Biktarvy, Descovy, Odefsey, Genvoya, Stribild, Complera/Eviplera, Atripla, Truvada, Viread, Emtriva, and Tybost for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults; and Vosevi, Vemlidy, Epclusa, Harvoni, Sovaldi, Viread, and Hepsera products for treating liver diseases.

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