Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Agenus (AGEN) to Hold

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Agenus' collaboration agreements with players like Incyte and Merck not only validate its technology platforms but also provide it with funds. In fact, Agenus received a boost when Merck selected its lead antibody candidate and several backup antibodies for an undisclosed checkpoint target. We are encouraged by Agenus’ efforts in developing Prophage vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme. Further, recently, the company spun off its cell therapy businesses as a separate unit so that it can make smaller teams that can entirely focus on getting the products approved. However, Agenus’ heavy dependence on collaborators for its top-line growth remains a concern. Shares of the company have also underperformed the industry year to date. Loss estimates have narrowed ahead of the Q4 earnings results.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. ValuEngine lowered Agenus from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, December 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Agenus presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $5.88.

Agenus (AGEN) traded down $0.01 during trading on Monday, hitting $3.87. The stock had a trading volume of 578,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,432,544. The company has a quick ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -2.39. The company has a market capitalization of $336.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of -3.31 and a beta of 2.11. Agenus has a twelve month low of $3.20 and a twelve month high of $5.45.

Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.37) EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.37). The business had revenue of $3.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.91 million. The company’s revenue was down 24.4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Agenus will post -1.16 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Garo H. Armen purchased 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 30th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $3.55 per share, for a total transaction of $355,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Karen Valentine sold 8,358 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.46, for a total value of $28,918.68. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 109,879 shares in the company, valued at $380,181.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 20,514 shares of company stock worth $70,978 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 7.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AGEN. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Agenus by 11.4% during the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 520,142 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,033,000 after acquiring an additional 53,343 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in Agenus by 15.1% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 144,700 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $566,000 after acquiring an additional 19,000 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in Agenus by 9.7% during the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 141,776 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $554,000 after acquiring an additional 12,509 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Agenus by 0.6% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 204,576 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $800,000 after acquiring an additional 1,283 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Agenus by 4.1% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 941,631 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $3,682,000 after acquiring an additional 37,239 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 37.87% of the company’s stock.

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About Agenus

Agenus Inc (Agenus) is an immuno-oncology (I-O) company. The Company focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body’s immune system to fight cancer. It is developing a I-O portfolio driven by platforms and programs, such as antibody discovery platforms, including Retrocyte Display, SECANT yeast display and phage display technologies designed to produce human antibodies; antibody candidate programs, including checkpoint modulator (CPM) programs; vaccine programs, including Prophage, AutoSynVax and PhosPhoSynVax, and saponin-based vaccine adjuvants, principally QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

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