Why Should You Put Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) On Your Portfolio?

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    ClearBridge Investments LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IONS). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 1.09% to 8.03 million shares with purchase of 86688.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 5.77% valued currently at $451.61 million. In addition, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. raised its holdings by 45509.0 to 3.89 million shares. And T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (I. has lifted its position by 101.80% or 1.9 million shares – to 3.76 million shares.

    With over 0.44 million Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IONS) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $60.44 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $26.57 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 0.40% and its price on 07/09/20 lost nearly -0.77%. Currently, there are 139.43M common shares owned by the public and among those 132.40M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 20 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for IONS have a consensus price objective of $68.42. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $120.00 and a low of $19.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock is 2.50 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 11.77% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -218.11% over that period. But an upside of 49.63% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $69.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 117 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 68 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 307,008 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 49 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 292,392 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. are Fidelity Growth Company Fund, BB Biotech AG, and Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. Fidelity Growth Company Fund owns 8.24 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $463.38 million. The company sold 7588.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 5.92% of the shares outstanding. BB Biotech AG has total holdings of 7.99 million shares valued at over $449.4 million and representing 5.74% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 11385.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 3.66 million shares at a value of $205.63 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now owns shares totaling to 2.63% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) opened at $60.80, down -$0.11 from a prior closing price of $60.91. However, the script later closed the day at $60.44, down -0.77%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 0.40% and 15.12% over the past three months. IONS shares are trading 0.05% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -7.30% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $39.32 and touched a high of $73.09 over the same period. Currently, 0.44 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 837.39K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 2.24%, 5.77%, and 5.67% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) shares accounts for 86.80% of the company’s 139.43M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 38.37%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 47.56% and 0.86% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $8.34B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.65. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 53.96, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $1.12. The company has a PEG of 1.10 and a Quick Ratio of 9.80 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 0.59. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.57% over the week and 3.02% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IONS) will achieve an EPS of -$0.22 for the current quarter, $0 for the next quarter and -$0.17 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.4 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.05. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.01 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 572.90%, and 67.30% over the next financial year. EPS should shrink at an annualized rate of 49.00% over the next five years, compared to 52.40% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 20 brokerage firm advisors rate Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IONS) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.50. Specifically, 9 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 6 of the 20 advise that investors “hold,” and 4 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the IONS, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Oppenheimer stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on June 01, 2020. RBC Capital Mkts coverage for the Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IONS) stock in a research note released on May 13, 2020 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $71. Citigroup was of a view on March 05, 2020 that the stock is Buy, while Oppenheimer gave the stock Outperform rating on December 13, 2019. BofA/Merrill on their part issued Buy rating on November 13, 2019.

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