Agenus (AGEN) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $4.25 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 9.82% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $5.81.

Shares of Agenus (NASDAQ AGEN) traded down $0.01 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $3.87. 578,900 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,432,544. The company has a current ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39. Agenus has a 12-month low of $3.20 and a 12-month high of $5.45. The company has a market capitalization of $346.26, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.31 and a beta of 2.11.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.37). The company had revenue of $3.40 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.91 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 24.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Agenus will post -1.16 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total transaction of $28,918.68. Following the sale, the insider now owns 109,879 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $380,181.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Garo H. Armen purchased 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $3.55 per share, for a total transaction of $355,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 20,514 shares of company stock worth $70,978. 7.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AGEN. Artal Group S.A. raised its stake in Agenus by 25.0% during the third quarter. Artal Group S.A. now owns 2,500,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $11,025,000 after purchasing an additional 500,000 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Agenus by 5.2% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,530,585 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $13,805,000 after purchasing an additional 174,162 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Agenus by 511.9% during the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 88,942 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $392,000 after purchasing an additional 74,407 shares in the last quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. raised its stake in Agenus by 12.8% during the third quarter. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. now owns 617,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,724,000 after purchasing an additional 70,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its stake in Agenus by 42.7% during the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 192,900 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $851,000 after purchasing an additional 57,696 shares in the last quarter. 37.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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