Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS): Stock That Needs Special Handling


ARK Investment Management LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 55.36% to 21.76 million shares with purchase of 7.75 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 13.27% valued currently at $155.14 million. In addition, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its holdings by 0.73 million to 12.1 million shares. And The Vanguard Group, Inc. has lifted its position by 4.24% or 0.34 million shares – to 8.32 million shares.

With over 1.47 million Cerus Corporation (CERS) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $6.37 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $9.38 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -6.73% and its price on 08/31/20 gained nearly 1.76%. Currently, there are 164.38M common shares owned by the public and among those 162.71M 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: 4 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for CERS have a consensus price objective of $9.13. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $10.00 and a low of $8.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Cerus Corporation stock is 1.50 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 30.23% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock gain 20.38% over that period. But an upside of 36.3% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $9.25.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 91 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 56 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 1,740,208 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 35 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 905,295 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Cerus Corporation are ARK Innovation ETF, PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growt, and Nikko AM Global Umbrella Fund – A. ARK Innovation ETF owns 16.13 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $114.98 million. The company bought an additional 0.17 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 9.83% of the shares outstanding. PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growt sold 9800.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 11.19 million shares valued at over $79.78 million and representing 6.82% of the shares outstanding. Nikko AM Global Umbrella Fund – A bought 7.21 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 7.28 million shares at a value of $51.91 million. Nikko AM Global Umbrella Fund – A now owns shares totaling to 4.44% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) opened at $6.27, up $0.01 from a prior closing price of $6.26. However, the script later closed the day at $6.37, up 1.76%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -6.73% and -0.62% over the past three months. CERS shares are trading 50.95% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 18.62% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $2.71 and touched a high of $7.94 over the same period. Currently, 1.47 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.90 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -8.08%, -6.93%, and 19.21% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) shares accounts for 81.60% of the company’s 164.38M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 4.22%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 46.12% and 35.66% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $1.03B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.16. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.44. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 6.23% over the week and 4.99% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Cerus Corporation (CERS) will achieve an EPS of -$0.1 for the current quarter, -$0.1 for the next quarter and -$0.34 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.12 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.09. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.13 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -16.50%, and 15.00% over the next financial year.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 4 brokerage firm advisors rate Cerus Corporation (CERS) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.50. Specifically, 4 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 0 of the 4 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the CERS, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald stated their Overweight rating for the stock in a research note on June 16, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $9. BTIG Research coverage for the Cerus Corporation (CERS) stock in a research note released on February 26, 2020 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $7. BTIG Research was of a view on November 13, 2019 that the stock is Buy, while Stifel gave the stock Buy rating on August 28, 2019, issuing a price target of. Stephens on their part issued Overweight rating on August 23, 2019.


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