Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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

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. “

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on ATHX. ValuEngine cut Athersys from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Maxim Group set a $12.00 price target on Athersys and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Athersys has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $7.17.

Athersys (NASDAQ ATHX) opened at 2.23 on Tuesday. The stock’s market capitalization is $254.02 million. The company has a 50-day moving average of $2.10 and a 200-day moving average of $1.67. Athersys has a 52-week low of $1.02 and a 52-week high of $2.63.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.06). Athersys had a negative return on equity of 91.02% and a negative net margin of 936.77%. The company had revenue of $0.67 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.96 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted ($0.08) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Athersys will post ($0.24) EPS for the current year.

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In related news, EVP John J. Harrington sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $2.17, for a total transaction of $32,550.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 679,416 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,474,332.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ATHX. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Athersys by 19.5% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,899,200 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,668,000 after buying an additional 637,322 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada lifted its holdings in shares of Athersys by 7,334.0% during the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 380,846 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $576,000 after purchasing an additional 375,723 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Athersys by 27.2% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,432,695 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,161,000 after purchasing an additional 305,944 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Athersys by 30.8% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,123,870 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,697,000 after purchasing an additional 264,549 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Athersys by 35.2% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 756,004 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,292,000 after purchasing an additional 196,981 shares during the last quarter. 19.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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