Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Intercept got a significant boost with the approval of Ocaliva for the treatment of PBC.  Although sales had earlier taken a hit due to the safety issues regarding Ocaliva, management’s efforts to increase awareness about the updated level and promote Ocaliva, thereafter, is reaping results. Solid growth in new patient enrollment in the third-quarter should lead to stronger sales in the fourth quarter. Moreover, the company is looking to expand the drug’s label in the promising NASH  and PSC space. The phase III NASH program includes the REGENERATE trial among patients with advanced liver fibrosis and the REVERSE trial among patients with compensated cirrhosis. Results from the REGENERATE trial are expected in the first quarter of 2019. However, we are concerned about the lack of other late-stage candidates in the company’s pipeline. Shares have outperformed the industry in the last six months.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on ICPT. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. ValuEngine cut shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 12th. Oppenheimer set a $100.00 price target on shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 31st. B. Riley started coverage on shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. They set a “buy” rating and a $155.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, UBS Group upgraded shares of Intercept Pharmaceuticals from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $152.13.

NASDAQ:ICPT traded down $3.25 on Thursday, hitting $109.73. 375,563 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 519,963. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.83, a current ratio of 5.98 and a quick ratio of 5.98. Intercept Pharmaceuticals has a 52 week low of $51.05 and a 52 week high of $133.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.35 billion, a PE ratio of -7.63 and a beta of -0.68.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($2.18) EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($2.65) by $0.47. Intercept Pharmaceuticals had a negative net margin of 202.93% and a negative return on equity of 645.54%. The firm had revenue of $47.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $48.24 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($2.89) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Intercept Pharmaceuticals will post -10.32 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, major shareholder S.P.A. Genextra sold 750,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.07, for a total transaction of $78,802,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 6,095,578 shares in the company, valued at approximately $640,462,380.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider David Shapiro sold 474 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.48, for a total transaction of $46,205.52. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 37,243 shares in the company, valued at $3,630,447.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 817,555 shares of company stock worth $85,704,929 over the last 90 days. 4.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 104.3% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 110,805 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $9,298,000 after buying an additional 56,556 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,437,332 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $372,336,000 after buying an additional 661,542 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers grew its stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 11.5% in the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 21,153 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,775,000 after buying an additional 2,181 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 158.8% in the 3rd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 35,561 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $4,493,000 after buying an additional 21,819 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals by 17.9% in the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 6,765 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $568,000 after buying an additional 1,025 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.62% of the company’s stock.

About Intercept Pharmaceuticals

Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company, which engages in the research, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics in treating chronic liver diseases. Its product pipeline is OCALIVA which is used for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia.

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