Geron Corporation (GERN) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday, July 11th.

According to Zacks, “Geron is optimistic about the agreement with J&J for its lead pipeline candidate – imetelstat – which provides it a strong partner as well as funds. Imetelstat is being developed for the treatment of myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndromes. In 2016, J&J announced unfavorable findings from the planned internal reviews of initial data from the two studies of imetelstat, IMbark and IMerge. However, in April 2017, Geron informed that Janssen has completed the second internal data review of the two studies and as a result of the review, both trials are continuing unmodified. However, Geron's dependence on a single pipeline candidate, imetelstat, raises concerns. Earnings estimates have increased lately ahead of the company’s Q2 earnings release. Geron has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on GERN. FBR & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Geron Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an overweight rating and set a $5.00 price target on shares of Geron Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a hold rating and set a $2.50 price target on shares of Geron Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $3.88.

Geron Corporation (GERN) opened at 2.25 on Tuesday. Geron Corporation has a 1-year low of $1.81 and a 1-year high of $3.15. The company’s market capitalization is $358.15 million. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $2.76 and its 200-day moving average is $2.47.

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Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 7.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,112,183 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $16,145,000 after buying an additional 502,485 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,566,601 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $9,456,000 after buying an additional 234,204 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 11.0% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,212,214 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $2,751,000 after buying an additional 120,222 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Geron Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $820,000. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Geron Corporation by 4.6% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 275,028 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $569,000 after buying an additional 12,078 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 38.16% of the company’s stock.

About Geron Corporation

Geron Corporation (Geron) is a biopharmaceutical company, which supports the clinical stage development of a telomerase inhibitor, Imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies by Janssen Biotech, Inc (Janssen). The Company is engaged in the development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that binds with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity.

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