Handle With Care: Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA)


    BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:AKCA). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Healthcare company by 25.31% to 2.13 million shares with purchase of 0.43 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 2.10% valued currently at $23.05 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 77075.0 to 1.43 million shares. And D. E. Shaw & Co. LP has lifted its position by 40.26% or 0.13 million shares – to 0.44 million shares.

    With over 6.75 million Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (AKCA) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $18.28 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $123.37 million. The shares have shown a positive weekly performance of 54.52% and its price on 08/31/20 gained nearly 60.63%. Currently, there are 77.10M common shares owned by the public and among those 17.40M 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: 5 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for AKCA have a consensus price objective of $23.33. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $41.00 and a low of $16.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Akcea Therapeutics Inc. stock is 2.40 for the next 12 months. But an upside of 55.41% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $18.15.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 34 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 23 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 9,997,017 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 11 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 1,665,815 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Akcea Therapeutics Inc. are Fidelity Growth Company Fund, iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF, and Fidelity Series Growth Company Fu. Fidelity Growth Company Fund owns 4.92 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $53.38 million. The company sold 13032.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 4.85% of the shares outstanding. iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF sold 8140.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 1.06 million shares valued at over $11.44 million and representing 1.04% of the shares outstanding. Fidelity Series Growth Company Fu now owns shares totaling to 1.00% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA) opened at $18.27, up $6.89 from a prior closing price of $11.38. However, the script later closed the day at $18.28, up 60.63%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 54.52% and 21.14% over the past three months. AKCA shares are trading 7.91% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -13.20% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $8.00 and touched a high of $22.79 over the same period. Currently, 6.75 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 270.99K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 60.05%, 45.94%, and 17.28% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKCA) shares accounts for 19.80% of the company’s 77.10M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 68.49%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 7.87% and 11.78% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $1.92B. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.85. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.92% over the week and 5.57% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (AKCA) will achieve an EPS of -$0.44 for the current quarter, -$0.53 for the next quarter and -$2.1 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.57 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.26. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.34 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 115.80%, and -11.10% over the next financial year.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 5 brokerage firm advisors rate Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (AKCA) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.40. Specifically, 1 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 4 of the 5 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the AKCA, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Wells Fargo stated their Outperform rating for the stock in a research note on October 07, 2019, with the firm’s price target at. Wells Fargo coverage for the Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (AKCA) stock in a research note released on September 23, 2019 offered a Market Perform rating with a price target of $24. Needham was of a view on September 18, 2018 that the stock is Buy, while Stifel gave the stock Hold rating on August 07, 2018, issuing a price target of $33. Wells Fargo on their part issued Outperform rating on May 11, 2018.


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