Geron (GERN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Geron reported mixed third-quarter results with earnings beating estimates but sales missing the same. The company suffered a major setback when J&J terminated its agreement related to development of its sole pipeline candidate – imetelstat. With this termination, company lost a strong partner and a major source of funds. Geron however has regained global rights to imetelstat and decided to independently develop the candidate in a late-stage study – IMerge – for myelodysplastic syndromes. Initial data and data from the expansion arm of the mid-stage portion of IMerge on imetelstat were impressive. The FDA had granted fast track designation to imetelstat in late 2017. Geron's dependence on a single pipeline candidate however raises concerns. The company’s shares have underperformed the industry in the past six months.”

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on GERN. B. Riley downgraded Geron from a buy rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $5.75 to $1.50 in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. ValuEngine downgraded Geron from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. S&P Equity Research cut their target price on Geron from $2.32 to $1.80 in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Geron from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Geron presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $3.76.

Shares of GERN stock opened at $1.49 on Tuesday. Geron has a 12-month low of $1.46 and a 12-month high of $6.99.

Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.03) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.05) by $0.02. The business had revenue of $0.17 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $0.22 million. Geron had a negative return on equity of 19.16% and a negative net margin of 3,077.78%. Equities research analysts anticipate that Geron will post -0.2 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Robert J. Spiegel sold 175,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $6.85, for a total value of $1,198,750.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 110,576 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $757,445.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 8.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Geron by 4.1% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,935,757 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $24,526,000 after acquiring an additional 546,779 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Geron by 8.2% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,751,607 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $15,403,000 after acquiring an additional 661,446 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its position in shares of Geron by 10.1% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,980,514 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,793,000 after acquiring an additional 181,526 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in shares of Geron by 307.6% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 1,257,098 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $4,313,000 after acquiring an additional 948,680 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Geron by 16.9% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 343,000 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,177,000 after acquiring an additional 49,600 shares during the period. 30.67% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Geron Company Profile

Geron Corporation operates as a biopharmaceutical company. The company supports the clinical stage development of imetelstat, a telomerase inhibitor for the treatment of hematologic myeloid malignancies. It has collaboration and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc to develop and commercialize imetelstat worldwide for indications in oncology, including hematologic myeloid malignancies and other human therapeutic uses.

Further Reading: Debt-To-Equity Ratio

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