Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Intercept got a significant boost with the approval of Ocaliva for the treatment of PBC.  Although sales had earlier taken a hit due to the safety issues regarding Ocaliva, management’s efforts to increase awareness about the updated level and promote Ocaliva, thereafter, is reaping results. Solid growth in new patient enrollment in the third-quarter should lead to stronger sales in the fourth quarter. Moreover, the company is looking to expand the drug’s label in the promising NASH  and PSC space. The phase III NASH program includes the REGENERATE trial among patients with advanced liver fibrosis and the REVERSE trial among patients with compensated cirrhosis. Results from the REGENERATE trial are expected in the first quarter of 2019. However, we are concerned about the lack of other late-stage candidates in the company’s pipeline. Shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on ICPT. BidaskClub raised Intercept Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. ValuEngine raised Intercept Pharmaceuticals from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. Roth Capital initiated coverage on Intercept Pharmaceuticals in a report on Wednesday, September 12th. They issued a buy rating and a $192.00 price objective on the stock. Raymond James lowered Intercept Pharmaceuticals from a strong-buy rating to an outperform rating and raised their price objective for the company from $126.00 to $141.00 in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, B. Riley initiated coverage on Intercept Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. They issued a buy rating and a $155.00 price objective on the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. Intercept Pharmaceuticals presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $152.13.

Shares of ICPT opened at $109.73 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 5.98, a quick ratio of 5.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.83. Intercept Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $51.05 and a 12 month high of $133.74. The company has a market capitalization of $3.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -7.63 and a beta of -0.68.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($2.18) EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($2.65) by $0.47. Intercept Pharmaceuticals had a negative return on equity of 645.54% and a negative net margin of 202.93%. The company had revenue of $47.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $48.24 million. During the same period last year, the company earned ($2.89) earnings per share. Intercept Pharmaceuticals’s quarterly revenue was up 13.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts anticipate that Intercept Pharmaceuticals will post -10.32 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, major shareholder S.P.A. Genextra sold 750,000 shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.07, for a total transaction of $78,802,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 6,095,578 shares in the company, valued at $640,462,380.46. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Christian Weyer sold 1,343 shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $113.78, for a total value of $152,806.54. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 17,162 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,952,692.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 814,130 shares of company stock worth $85,352,325 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 4.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC lifted its position in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 7.2% during the third quarter. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC now owns 9,618 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,215,000 after buying an additional 648 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank lifted its position in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 2.3% during the third quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 36,100 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $4,562,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio purchased a new position in Intercept Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter worth approximately $126,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 17.9% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 6,765 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $568,000 after buying an additional 1,025 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its position in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 3.0% during the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 43,018 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $5,436,000 after buying an additional 1,254 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 63.62% of the company’s stock.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company, which engages in the research, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics in treating chronic liver diseases. Its product pipeline is OCALIVA which is used for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia.

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