Zacks Investment Research Downgrades bluebird bio (BLUE) to Sell

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bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “bluebird does not have any approved products in its portfolio and an unfavorable outcome from any of the ongoing studies will be huge setback. Shares have underperformed the industry in the last six months. Nevertheless, bluebird’s progress with its pipeline is encouraging. bluebird has an impressive pipeline of gene therapies for genetic diseases and cancer. LentiGlobin looks promising. The company’s collaboration with Regeneron is encouraging as it provides the company with funds. bluebird is also developing CAR T therapies in collaboration with Celgene for myeloma. The CAR T market holds potential and the successful development of the candidates will positively impact the company’s results. Celgene is expected to initiate a phase III study on bb2121 in third-line multiple myeloma shortly. Hence, we expect investors to focus on pipeline updates.”

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on BLUE. BidaskClub cut shares of bluebird bio from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Guggenheim started coverage on shares of bluebird bio in a research note on Monday, September 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of bluebird bio from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 17th. Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of bluebird bio from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of bluebird bio from $190.00 to $186.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, fifteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $188.83.

Shares of NASDAQ:BLUE traded up $3.09 on Tuesday, hitting $113.33. 5,745 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 585,759. bluebird bio has a one year low of $87.49 and a one year high of $236.17. The company has a market cap of $5.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -14.70 and a beta of 2.41.

bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The biotechnology company reported ($2.73) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($2.90) by $0.17. bluebird bio had a negative net margin of 1,326.02% and a negative return on equity of 31.50%. The company had revenue of $11.50 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.90 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($1.73) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 49.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts forecast that bluebird bio will post -10.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other bluebird bio news, COO Susanna Gatti High sold 1,890 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $113.83, for a total transaction of $215,138.70. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 15,610 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,776,886.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Kory James Wentworth sold 388 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.05, for a total transaction of $39,983.40. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 4,612 shares in the company, valued at $475,266.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 28,777 shares of company stock worth $3,290,502 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BLUE. Casdin Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of bluebird bio by 37.9% during the second quarter. Casdin Capital LLC now owns 200,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $31,390,000 after purchasing an additional 55,000 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its position in shares of bluebird bio by 17.7% during the third quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 8,630 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $1,260,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its position in shares of bluebird bio by 26.6% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 155,890 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $24,467,000 after purchasing an additional 32,724 shares in the last quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC lifted its position in shares of bluebird bio by 37.0% during the second quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 13,501 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $2,119,000 after purchasing an additional 3,643 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Credit Suisse AG lifted its position in shares of bluebird bio by 26.6% during the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 259,738 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $37,921,000 after purchasing an additional 54,498 shares in the last quarter.

bluebird bio Company Profile

bluebird bio, Inc, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, focuses on developing transformative gene therapies for severe genetic diseases and cancer. Its product candidates include Lenti-D that is in Phase II/III clinical trials for the treatment of cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy, a rare hereditary neurological disorder; and LentiGlobin, which is in various clinical studies for the treatment of transfusion- transfusion-dependent ß-thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease.

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