ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Saturday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $5.75 price target on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of a diverse, risk-sensitive portfolio of in-licensed cancer drugs to address unmet medical needs. The Company applies new insights from molecular and cancer biology to understand the efficacy and safety limitations of approved and developmental cancer therapies and identifies proprietary and related molecules for better patient treatment. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. ValuEngine lowered ZIOPHARM Oncology from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. BidaskClub raised ZIOPHARM Oncology from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 29th. HC Wainwright reissued a buy rating and set a $6.50 price target on shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Finally, Raymond James set a $6.50 price target on ZIOPHARM Oncology and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, November 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $6.65.

Shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology stock opened at $5.08 on Friday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $4.64 and a 200 day moving average of $4.94. ZIOPHARM Oncology has a 12 month low of $1.56 and a 12 month high of $7.25. The firm has a market cap of $934.11 million, a PE ratio of -10.58 and a beta of 2.60. The company has a current ratio of 10.34, a quick ratio of 10.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01.

ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.43) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by ($0.34). As a group, equities research analysts forecast that ZIOPHARM Oncology will post -0.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CAO Kevin G. Lafond sold 11,667 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $5.25, for a total value of $61,251.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 97,222 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $510,415.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 2.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY lifted its stake in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology by 21.1% in the 3rd quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY now owns 54,254 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $232,000 after purchasing an additional 9,443 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology by 242.4% in the 3rd quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 250,106 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,070,000 after purchasing an additional 177,060 shares during the last quarter. MSD Partners L.P. lifted its stake in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology by 37.9% in the 3rd quarter. MSD Partners L.P. now owns 15,151,516 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $64,848,000 after purchasing an additional 4,165,258 shares during the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new stake in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 250,124 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $1,071,000 after purchasing an additional 2,988 shares during the last quarter. 45.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

ZIOPHARM Oncology Company Profile

ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc, a biotechnology company, focuses on acquiring, developing, and commercializing a portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies for treating heterogenous solid tumors and unknown antigens. The company develops two immuno-oncology platform technologies, including Sleeping Beauty (SB), which is based on the genetic engineering of immune cells using a non-viral transposon/transposase system to reprogram T-cells outside of the body for infusion; and Controlled IL-12, which delivers interleukin 12 or IL-12, a master regular of the immune system, in a controlled and safe manner to focus the patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.

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