Zacks Investment Research Lowers Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Achillion has no approved product in its portfolio and focuses on developing small molecule therapeutics to treat infectious and complement-mediated diseases. The company has shown progress in developing Factor D inhibitors. The lead candidate, ACH-4471 has shown clinically meaningful complement inhibition of factor D in PNH patients. Meanwhile, another factor D inhibitor candidate has been advanced to phase I study in 2017. Though this area has commercial opportunity the complement-mediated space is highly crowded as many biotech companies are working on bringing these treatments to market. In a major setback, J&J terminated its HCV agreement in September and Achillion lost a strong and experienced partner and source of funds. Meanwhile, shares have underperformed the industry in the past one year. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q4 earnings results. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services cut their price objective on shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals from $9.00 to $6.50 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Leerink Swann reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $5.00 price objective on shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals in a report on Monday, December 11th. Chardan Capital reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals in a report on Sunday, September 17th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $4.00 price objective (down previously from $5.00) on shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, December 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $5.13.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) traded down $0.02 on Tuesday, reaching $3.13. 3,045,000 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,734,667. Achillion Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $2.69 and a one year high of $5.66. The stock has a market capitalization of $431.49, a PE ratio of -6.39 and a beta of 1.52.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.14) earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.18) by $0.04. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.15) earnings per share. analysts predict that Achillion Pharmaceuticals will post -0.63 EPS for the current year.

In other news, major shareholder & Johnson Johnson sold 18,367,346 shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.75, for a total value of $50,510,201.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. 7.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Achillion Pharmaceuticals by 3.6% during the second quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 23,130 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $106,000 after acquiring an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its position in Achillion Pharmaceuticals by 18.6% during the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 26,429 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $121,000 after acquiring an additional 4,144 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Achillion Pharmaceuticals by 53.8% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 42,900 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $196,000 after acquiring an additional 15,000 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Achillion Pharmaceuticals by 13.7% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 55,819 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $256,000 after acquiring an additional 6,730 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. acquired a new position in Achillion Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth about $280,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.92% of the company’s stock.

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About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the discovery and development of small molecule drug therapies for infectious diseases and immune system disorders. The Company is focused on its complement inhibitor platform, directed at advancing small molecule compounds that have the potential to be used in the treatment of immune-related diseases associated with the alternative pathway of the complement system.

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