Geron (GERN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors 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.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on GERN. B. Riley lowered shares of Geron from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $5.75 to $1.50 in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Geron from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. S&P Equity Research lowered their target price on shares of Geron from $2.32 to $1.80 in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Geron from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $3.76.

GERN stock opened at $1.49 on Tuesday. Geron has a 52-week low of $1.46 and a 52-week high of $6.99.

Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.03) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.05) by $0.02. Geron had a negative net margin of 3,077.78% and a negative return on equity of 19.16%. The business had revenue of $0.17 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $0.22 million. As a group, equities analysts expect 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 dated Thursday, September 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $6.85, for a total transaction of $1,198,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 110,576 shares in the company, valued at approximately $757,445.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 8.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Geron by 8.2% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,751,607 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $15,403,000 after purchasing an additional 661,446 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Geron by 11.2% during the 3rd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 326,525 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $575,000 after purchasing an additional 32,948 shares during the last quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. raised its position in shares of Geron by 230.6% during the 3rd quarter. M Holdings Securities Inc. now owns 82,650 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 57,650 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Geron by 50.1% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 117,168 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $206,000 after purchasing an additional 39,095 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new position in shares of Geron during the 3rd quarter worth about $100,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 30.67% of the company’s stock.

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.

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