Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) to Sell

Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Juno company suffered a huge setback with discontinuation of the development of cancer candidate, JCAR015, due to the toxicity witnessed in a phase II ROCKET study in July 2016. Though the company remains on track with its pipeline, candidates are still a few steps away from approval and hence, any setback would weigh heavily on the stock. Also, increased competition in the immunotherapy space is a matter of concern for the company. However, the company’s deal with Celgene for global development and commercialization of immunotherapies is encouraging. Moreover, the company’s targeted, cancer immunotherapy is a highly lucrative. Shares of the company have also outperformed the industry in the last one year. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company’s Q4 earnings release. The company has negative record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 target price (up previously from $54.00) on shares of Juno Therapeutics in a research note on Wednesday. Raymond James Financial reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Juno Therapeutics in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Juno Therapeutics in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Needham & Company LLC assumed coverage on Juno Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, January 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $65.00 target price for the company. Finally, Maxim Group set a $56.00 target price on Juno Therapeutics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 13th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.26.

Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ JUNO) opened at $45.60 on Wednesday. Juno Therapeutics has a 52 week low of $18.90 and a 52 week high of $63.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $5,210.00, a PE ratio of -13.45 and a beta of 2.32. The company has a current ratio of 4.77, a quick ratio of 4.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01.

Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JUNO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.73) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.80) by $0.07. Juno Therapeutics had a negative return on equity of 32.54% and a negative net margin of 332.05%. The business had revenue of $44.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $18.12 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.57) earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 115.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Juno Therapeutics will post -4.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Richard Klausner sold 36,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.76, for a total transaction of $1,611,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 744,392 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $33,318,985.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert Azelby sold 6,666 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.95, for a total value of $366,296.70. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 79,998 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,395,890.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 65,956 shares of company stock valued at $3,064,378. 15.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in shares of Juno Therapeutics by 7.2% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,405 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in Juno Therapeutics by 141.1% in the 3rd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 2,459 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 1,439 shares in the last quarter. QS Investors LLC purchased a new stake in Juno Therapeutics in the 2nd quarter worth about $135,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. lifted its stake in Juno Therapeutics by 27,376.9% in the 3rd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 3,572 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $160,000 after acquiring an additional 3,559 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wellington Shields & Co. LLC purchased a new stake in Juno Therapeutics in the 3rd quarter worth about $202,000. 69.94% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Juno Therapeutics

Juno Therapeutics, Inc (Juno) is a biopharmaceutical company, which is focused on developing cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The Company is developing cell-based cancer immunotherapies based on its chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) technologies to genetically engineer T cells to recognize and kill cancer cells.

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