Vical (VICL) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning. The brokerage currently has $1.00 target price on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company’s DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. “

Separately, HC Wainwright set a $4.00 target price on shares of Vical and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th.

NASDAQ VICL traded down $0.01 on Friday, reaching $0.93. The company had a trading volume of 171,622 shares, compared to its average volume of 340,288. Vical has a 1-year low of $0.88 and a 1-year high of $1.92.

Vical (NASDAQ:VICL) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.14) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.22) by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $0.05 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $0.18 million. Vical had a negative net margin of 300.44% and a negative return on equity of 31.61%. Sell-side analysts expect that Vical will post -0.85 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Vical news, major shareholder Armistice Capital Master Fund sold 2,190,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $0.88, for a total transaction of $1,927,640.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 4.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Sio Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Vical in the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,699,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Vical by 10.1% in the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 966,549 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,324,000 after acquiring an additional 88,820 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Vical by 20.0% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 394,320 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $453,000 after acquiring an additional 65,732 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Vical by 47.5% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 138,960 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $190,000 after acquiring an additional 44,723 shares during the period. 47.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Vical Company Profile

Vical Incorporated engages in the research and development of biopharmaceutical products based on its DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. The company is developing VCL-HB01, an HSV-2 therapeutic vaccine that is in Phase II clinical trial to prevent and protect against lesion recurrence, as well as for the treatment of patients with symptomatic genital herpes infection; VL-2397 antifungal program, which is in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of invasive fungal infections; and chronic hepatitis B that is in preclinical stage for the eradication of persistent HBV infection.

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