Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) to Hold

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Inovio’s progress with its lead pipeline candidate, VGX-3100, for the treatment of cervical dysplasia is encouraging. Apart from VGX-3100, Inovio also has some promising vaccine candidates in its portfolio, which are progressing well. Additionally, Inovio has collaboration with big pharma companies like Regeneron and AstraZeneca, which helps the company with the their derived expertise for further growth. Moreover, the company’s targeted cervical cancer market holds untapped potential. However, the company has no approved product in its portfolio andits excessive dependence on its partners for funding the development of its pipeline candidates raises a concern. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in 2018. Loss estimates look stable ahead of the Q4 earnings release. Inovio has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. HC Wainwright reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $13.00 target price on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Friday, January 25th. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $8.00 price target on shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. BidaskClub upgraded Inovio Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, January 5th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Inovio Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $9.65.

INO traded down $0.01 on Wednesday, hitting $4.69. 8,690 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 693,388. The company has a market cap of $449.10 million, a PE ratio of -4.30 and a beta of 1.96. Inovio Pharmaceuticals has a 12-month low of $3.64 and a 12-month high of $6.30.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 8th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.27) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.32) by $0.05. Inovio Pharmaceuticals had a negative return on equity of 72.66% and a negative net margin of 232.58%. The firm had revenue of $2.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.20 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.39) EPS. Analysts predict that Inovio Pharmaceuticals will post -1 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Inovio Pharmaceuticals news, CFO Peter Kies sold 10,001 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.28, for a total transaction of $52,805.28. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 72,089 shares in the company, valued at approximately $380,629.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 9.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of INO. Wasatch Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 74.1% in the 3rd quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 4,767,879 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $26,509,000 after buying an additional 2,029,689 shares during the period. ARK Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 60.5% in the 3rd quarter. ARK Investment Management LLC now owns 1,917,071 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $10,659,000 after purchasing an additional 722,414 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 446.4% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 520,426 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,894,000 after purchasing an additional 425,188 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC acquired a new stake in Inovio Pharmaceuticals in the 3rd quarter valued at $2,221,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Inovio Pharmaceuticals by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,845,338 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $26,834,000 after purchasing an additional 356,105 shares in the last quarter. 34.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Inovio Pharmaceuticals

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, develops active DNA immunotherapies and vaccines to prevent and treat cancers and infectious diseases. Its SynCon immunotherapy design has the ability to break the immune system's tolerance of cancerous cells, as well as is intended to facilitate cross-strain protection against known, as well as new unmatched strains of pathogens, such as influenza.

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