Athersys, Inc. (ATHX) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, May 9th.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on ATHX. William Blair restated an outperform rating on shares of Athersys in a research note on Tuesday, March 28th. Maxim Group set a $9.00 price objective on Athersys and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, March 20th. Finally, Needham & Company LLC began coverage on Athersys in a research report on Tuesday, February 7th. They set a buy rating and a $7.00 price objective for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $5.75.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) traded up 2.78% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $1.48. The company had a trading volume of 788,561 shares. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $1.51 and its 200-day moving average is $1.44. Athersys has a one year low of $1.02 and a one year high of $2.60. The firm’s market capitalization is $164.75 million.

Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $0.45 million. Athersys had a negative return on equity of 22.82% and a negative net margin of 17.12%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 90.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.06 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Athersys will post ($0.26) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Athersys by 35.2% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 756,004 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,292,000 after buying an additional 196,981 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Athersys by 19.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,899,200 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $6,668,000 after buying an additional 637,322 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in Athersys by 10.4% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 173,220 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $296,000 after buying an additional 16,340 shares during the period. TFS Capital LLC purchased a new position in Athersys during the first quarter worth about $149,000. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in Athersys by 11.1% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 265,165 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $453,000 after buying an additional 26,526 shares during the period. 17.24% 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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