Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Athersys, Inc., a late stage biotechnology company, focuses on the research and development activities in the field of regenerative medicine. Its clinical development programs are focused primarily on treating critical care indications neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, pulmonary and other conditions. The company’s lead platform product is MultiStem cell therapy, an off the shelf allogeneic stem cell product currently in Phase 3 clinical development for treating ischemic stroke. Based on promising Phase 2 results, this program has received Fast Track and RMAT (equivalent to Breakthrough Therapy for regenerative medicine treatments) designations from the FDA, as well as similar designations in Japan. The company also has an ongoing Phase II clinical study for treating patients with acute myocardial infarction; a planned Phase II for trauma (supported by the DOD). “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Smith Barney Citigroup assumed coverage on shares of Athersys in a research report on Thursday, April 23rd. They set an outperform rating and a $14.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Athersys from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday. Needham & Company LLC reduced their target price on shares of Athersys from $6.00 to $5.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, May 8th. Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Athersys in a research report on Thursday, June 25th. They set a buy rating and a $5.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Dawson James restated a buy rating and issued a $12.00 price objective on shares of Athersys in a report on Wednesday, May 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Athersys presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $9.00.

Shares of Athersys stock opened at $2.81 on Wednesday. Athersys has a 1-year low of $1.13 and a 1-year high of $4.38. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $2.79 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $2.06.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, May 7th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.10) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by ($0.02). As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Athersys will post -0.32 EPS for the current year.

In other Athersys news, COO William Lehmann, Jr. sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.86, for a total value of $57,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 410,720 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,174,659.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth H. Traub bought 40,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 22nd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $2.40 per share, with a total value of $96,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 115,093 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $276,223.20. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 12.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of ATHX. GW&K Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Athersys in the first quarter valued at approximately $1,581,000. State Street Corp increased its stake in Athersys by 18.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,834,191 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $8,503,000 after purchasing an additional 436,068 shares in the last quarter. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. bought a new stake in Athersys in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $492,000. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Athersys by 19.3% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,958,979 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $5,876,000 after purchasing an additional 316,230 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Athersys by 50.2% in the first quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 737,850 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,214,000 after purchasing an additional 246,750 shares in the last quarter. 17.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Athersys Company Profile

Athersys, Inc, a biotechnology company, focuses on the research and development activities in the field of regenerative medicine. Its clinical development programs are focused on treating neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory and immune disorders, and pulmonary and other conditions.

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