Athersys (ATHX) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $2.25 target price on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Athersys is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic product candidates designed to extend and enhance the quality of human life. The company’s lead product candidate, ATHX-105, is an oral, selective 5HT2c receptor agonist in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of obesity. The company is also developing other orally active pharmaceutical product candidates for the treatment of metabolic and central nervous system disorders, utilizing proprietary technologies, including Random Activation of Gene Expression (RAGE). Athersys is developing MultiStem(r), its patented, adult-derived “off the shelf” stem cell product platform, for multiple disease indications, including damage caused by myocardial infarction, bone marrow transplantation/oncology support, ischemic stroke and other indications. “

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A number of other research analysts have also recently commented on ATHX. Maxim Group restated a buy rating and set a $6.00 price target on shares of Athersys in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Athersys from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st.

Shares of ATHX opened at $2.02 on Tuesday. Athersys has a 12 month low of $1.29 and a 12 month high of $2.63.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 13th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.11) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.07) by ($0.04). The business had revenue of $1.17 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.42 million. Athersys had a negative return on equity of 123.22% and a negative net margin of 869.50%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.10) EPS. analysts expect that Athersys will post -0.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider William Lehmann, Jr. sold 14,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1.89, for a total transaction of $26,460.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 481,973 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $910,928.97. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP John J. Harrington sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1.84, for a total transaction of $27,600.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Athersys by 11.8% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 318,038 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $656,000 after buying an additional 33,498 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Athersys by 35.3% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 167,176 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $345,000 after buying an additional 43,600 shares in the last quarter. Perkins Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Athersys by 17.7% during the fourth quarter. Perkins Capital Management Inc. now owns 363,375 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $658,000 after buying an additional 54,650 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Athersys during the fourth quarter worth approximately $108,000. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its holdings in shares of Athersys by 345.5% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 88,561 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 68,680 shares in the last quarter. 19.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Athersys Company Profile

Athersys, Inc is an international biotechnology company that is focused primarily in the field of regenerative medicine. The Company’s MultiStem cell therapy, an allogeneic stem cell product, is its lead platform product and is in later-stage clinical development. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, certain pulmonary conditions and other conditions where the standard of care is limited or inadequate for many patients.

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