Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Alexion topped earnings and sales estimates in the fourth quarter of 2018.  Alexion's blockbuster drug, Soliris continues to perform well. The FDA approval for the generalized myasthenia gravis indication has boosted sales significantly. Meanwhile, Strensiq and Kanuma are doing well and likely to drive revenues. The company recently obtained FDA nod for long-acting C5 complement inhibitor, Ultomiris for the treatment of adults with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). The approval will strengthen Alexion's PNH franchise and boost sales. The company has been quite active on the acquisition front in a bid to diversify its portfolio and reduce dependence on Soliris. Alexion acquired Wilson Therapeutics and Syntimmune in 2018. Shares have outperformed the industry in the past six months. However, pricing is likely to impact sales.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $156.00 target price on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, January 22nd. Raymond James reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Sunday, December 30th. Oppenheimer set a $165.00 price objective on Alexion Pharmaceuticals and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Citigroup reduced their price objective on Alexion Pharmaceuticals from $195.00 to $190.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Alexion Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 18th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $162.33.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals stock opened at $125.18 on Tuesday. Alexion Pharmaceuticals has a fifty-two week low of $92.56 and a fifty-two week high of $140.77. The company has a quick ratio of 2.48, a current ratio of 2.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.31. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.77 billion, a PE ratio of 17.66, a PEG ratio of 0.89 and a beta of 1.56.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) last posted its earnings results on Monday, February 4th. The biopharmaceutical company reported $2.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.60 by $0.54. Alexion Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 18.15% and a net margin of 1.88%. The business had revenue of $1.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.48 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 24.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Alexion Pharmaceuticals will post 8.51 EPS for the current year.

In other Alexion Pharmaceuticals news, EVP Indrani Lall Franchini sold 2,605 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.13, for a total transaction of $307,728.65. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 29,304 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,461,681.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Ludwig Hantson sold 3,244 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $95.85, for a total value of $310,937.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 9,093 shares of company stock valued at $929,603. 4.35% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. FMR LLC increased its position in Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 8.1% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 21,096,993 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,932,693,000 after purchasing an additional 1,581,376 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,302,528 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,266,214,000 after purchasing an additional 41,943 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,811,291 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,197,928,000 after purchasing an additional 192,857 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 15,811,291 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,197,928,000 after acquiring an additional 192,857 shares during the period. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 8,728,912 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $849,847,000 after acquiring an additional 101,376 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.20% of the company’s stock.

About Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, develops and commercializes various therapeutic products. The company offers Soliris (eculizumab), a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a genetic blood disorder; atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a genetic disease; and generalized myasthenia gravis, a debilitating, complement-mediated neuromuscular disease.

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