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LGND

Ligand

$253.55

-1.17 (-0.46%)

, VKTX

Viking Therapeutics

$10.40

-0.18 (-1.70%)

09:36
09/18/18
09/18
09:36
09/18/18
09:36

Ligand rises after Viking's study of VK2809 hits primary goal

Shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND) are higher in early trading after Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) announced top-line results from a Phase 2 study of VK2809, its novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist, in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL-C. The study successfully achieved its primary endpoint, with patients receiving VK2809 demonstrating statistically significant reductions in LDL-C compared with placebo, Viking said. In May of 2014, the companies announced that Ligand licensed the rights to five programs to Viking. The drug candidates and programs covered by the license agreement included VK0612, VK5211, VK0214, a portfolio of orally available small molecule EPOR agonists for the potential treatment of anemia and a portfolio of orally available small molecule inhibitors of the enzyme DGAT-1 for the potential treatment of lipid disorders such as obesity and dyslipidemia. Also as part of that transaction, Ligand agreed to extend a $2.5M convertible loan facility to Viking that can be used to pay Viking's operating and financing-related expenses. In early trading, shares of Viking Therapeutics have more than doubled to $21.57. Meanwhile, Ligand is up 6% to $268.62 per share.

LGND

Ligand

$253.55

-1.17 (-0.46%)

VKTX

Viking Therapeutics

$10.40

-0.18 (-1.70%)

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LGND Ligand
$253.55

-1.17 (-0.46%)

09/11/18
ARGS
09/11/18
NO CHANGE
Target $300
ARGS
Buy
Ligand price target raised to $300 from $260 at Argus
Argus analyst Jasper Hellweg raised his price target on Ligand Pharmaceuticals to $300 and kept his Buy rating, saying that valuation is more in line with the Price/Earnings to Growth industry average ratio of 1.7-times. The analyst notes that the company is "on track" to post solid earnings growth over the period of the next several years thanks to its primary products of Promacta for clotting and Kyprolis for melanoma. Hellweg adds that Ligand also offers a "strong pipeline of new products" having partnered with over 100 pharmaceutical and biotech companies, with over 170 programs under license or in clinical development at this time. The analyst further points to the company's "clean" balance sheet and a "promising" technical pattern of its stock price.
08/17/18
08/17/18
INITIATION

On The Fly: Top five analyst initiations
Catch up on today's top five analyst initiations with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Dare Bioscience (DARE) initiated with a Buy at Maxim. 2. WillScot (WSC) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse. 3. Ligand (LGND) initiated with a Neutral at Goldman Sachs. 4. Cott Corp. (COT) initiated with an Action List Buy at TD Securities. 5. Azure Power (AZRE) initiated with a Buy at Janney Montgomery Scott. This list is just a portion of The Fly's analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
08/17/18
GSCO
08/17/18
INITIATION
Target $256
GSCO
Neutral
Ligand initiated with a Neutral at Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs analyst Dana Flanders initiated Ligand with a Neutral and $256 price target telling investors valuation reflects positive drivers and upcoming pipeline catalysts and additional M&A will be needed to support valuation.
08/10/18
HCWC
08/10/18
NO CHANGE
Target $257
HCWC
Buy
Ligand price target raised to $257 from $248.75 at H.C. Wainwright
H.C. Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis raised his price target for Ligand Pharmaceuticals to $257 after the company announced the acquisition of Vernalis for $43M. The transaction brings in over eight fully-funded partnered programs at various stages of development, ranging from approved to pre-clinical, as well as an established library and unpartnered programs in various disease areas, Pantginis tells investors in a research note. He reiterates a Buy rating on Ligand.
VKTX Viking Therapeutics
$10.40

-0.18 (-1.70%)

07/20/18
07/20/18
NO CHANGE

Fly Intel: Today's top analyst calls on Wall Street
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly. BOFA CUTS YUM CHINA TO UNDERPERFORM: BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Chen Luo downgraded Yum China (YUMC) to Underperform from Neutral and cut its price target to $34 from $44.30. Luo said he expects Yum China to continue to underperform given a likely peak in KFC trends amid China's weakening macro environment, a likely prolonged turnaround at Pizza Hut combined with heavy costs, a slowdown in Chinese consumer consumption, and RMB depreciation. Yum China is down 4.8% in late morning trading. CREDIT SUISSE CUTS FIVE BELOW TO NEUTRAL: Credit Suisse analyst Judah Frommer downgraded Five Below (FIVE) to Neutral from Outperform, telling investors that he is moving to the sidelines as he sees risk/reward balanced at current levels given the stock's material outperformance and back-half comp acceleration that he believes is priced into shares. Frommer keeps his $110 price target and says Five Below remains one of the most differentiated concepts in retail. Five Below is down 4.4% in late morning trading. BAIRD MORE CAUTIOUS ON DRUG SUPPLY CHAIN: Baird analyst Eric Coldwell downgraded Express Scripts (ESRX), AmerisourceBergen (ABC), and McKesson (MCK), all to Neutral from Outperform, citing the heavy political attack in recent weeks against pharmacy benefit managers and members of the drug supply chain. Among them, he said AmerisourceBergen remains his preferred name, but he cannot justify putting new money to work in these names in the current environment. SUNTRUST STARTS VIKING WITH A BUY: SunTrust analyst Edward Nash initiated Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) with a Buy rating and a price target of $14, saying its VK2809 drug for lipid disorders "has the potential to become a promising treatment by addressing multiple metabolic issues" associated with the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis disease, or NASH. Viking is up 8.3% in late morning trading. JPMORGAN SAYS BUY GM, SELL TESLA INTO EARNINGS: JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman forecast lower than consensus Q2 earnings for Ford (F) and higher than consensus earnings for General Motors (GM). The analyst is also concerned about the potential for a "large loss and accompanying large cash outflow" at Tesla (TSLA) in Q2 to "make the bridge" to GAAP profitability and positive cash generation in the second half of the year. Brinkman maintained Overweight ratings on GM and Ford, with a preference for GM shares. He also kept his cautious Underweight rating on Tesla shares, seeing 44% downside to his $180 December 2018 price target.
07/20/18
07/20/18
INITIATION

On The Fly: Top five analyst initiations
Catch up on today's top five analyst initiations with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. OneMain Holdings (OMF) reinstated with an Equal Weight at Barclays. 2. Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) initiated with a Buy at SunTrust. 3. Semtech (SMTC) initiated with a Buy at Stifel. 4. Axon (AAXN) initiated with a Buy at Needham. 5. Sonoma Pharmaceuticals (SNOA) assumed with a Speculative Buy at Benchmark. This list is just a portion of The Fly's analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
07/20/18
RHCO
07/20/18
INITIATION
Target $14
RHCO
Buy
Viking Therapeutics initiated with a Buy at SunTrust
SunTrust analyst Edward Nash initiated Viking Therapeutics with a Buy rating and a price target of $14, saying its VK2809 drug for lipid disorders "has the potential to become a promising treatment by addressing multiple metabolic issues" associated with the non- alcoholic steatohepatitis disease, or NASH. The analyst adds that VK2809 demonstrated a significant reduction in multiple lipid parameters in phase 1b trials, and also notes that the stock is trading at a significant discount relative to other companies targeting NASH.
06/28/18
RAJA
06/28/18
INITIATION
Target $15
RAJA
Outperform
Viking Therapeutics initiated with an Outperform at Raymond James
Raymond James analyst Steven Seedhouse initiated Viking Therapeutics with an Outperform and $15 price target.

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