Atara Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ATRA) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

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Atara Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ATRA) was the target of a significant growth in short interest in September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 10,080,000 shares, a growth of 18.6% from the August 30th total of 8,500,000 shares. Approximately 21.2% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 821,700 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 12.3 days.

ATRA stock traded down $1.19 on Monday, hitting $12.17. The company had a trading volume of 789,140 shares, compared to its average volume of 673,444. Atara Biotherapeutics has a 12-month low of $11.50 and a 12-month high of $43.94. The company has a current ratio of 7.80, a quick ratio of 7.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.06. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $14.08 and its 200 day simple moving average is $21.27. The stock has a market cap of $712.29 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -2.31 and a beta of 2.09.

Atara Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:ATRA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The biotechnology company reported ($1.60) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($1.45) by ($0.15). Research analysts forecast that Atara Biotherapeutics will post -5.71 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Atara Biotherapeutics news, insider Joe Newell sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.51, for a total transaction of $47,285.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 57,998 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $783,552.98. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 7.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ATRA. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Atara Biotherapeutics by 10.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,841,451 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $77,252,000 after purchasing an additional 357,026 shares during the period. Baupost Group LLC MA increased its holdings in Atara Biotherapeutics by 9.7% in the 2nd quarter. Baupost Group LLC MA now owns 7,000,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $140,770,000 after acquiring an additional 619,481 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its holdings in Atara Biotherapeutics by 21.7% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,417,956 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $255,114,000 after acquiring an additional 1,143,787 shares during the last quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. increased its holdings in Atara Biotherapeutics by 174.6% in the 2nd quarter. Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. now owns 92,050 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,851,000 after acquiring an additional 58,530 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC bought a new stake in Atara Biotherapeutics in the 2nd quarter valued at $63,000. Institutional investors own 91.79% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on ATRA shares. ValuEngine raised shares of Atara Biotherapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Mizuho set a $43.00 target price on shares of Atara Biotherapeutics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 18th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Atara Biotherapeutics in a research note on Friday, September 13th. Stifel Nicolaus set a $36.00 target price on shares of Atara Biotherapeutics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 13th. Finally, Citigroup set a $14.00 target price on shares of Atara Biotherapeutics and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.75.

Atara Biotherapeutics Company Profile

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc, an off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy company, develops treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune, and viral diseases in the United States. It is developing tabelecleucel, a T-cell immunotherapy that is Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of rituximab-refractory epstein-barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, as well as other EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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