Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:AGTC) shares lost 32% of their value today, after the gene therapy company provided a quarterly corporate update, showing that progress in its two lead programs, XLRS and ACHM, has been delayed due to a variety of factors, including slow enrollment due to stringent entry criteria, vendor error associated with an assay and protocol amendment related to inflammation.
Adding insult to injury, Cantor analyst Mara Goldstein downgraded shares of Applied Genetic from Buy to Hold rating, while slashing the price target to $15 (from $32).
Goldstein commented, “We think AGTC is experiencing the growing pains of advancing clinical trials, and as a result, first-in-man studies are to be delayed, which is a disappointment for investors. The company has a number of compelling attributes (technology, cash, partnership), but without proximity to data, the shares are not likely, in our view, to reflect the value of the clinical programs. We like AGTC as a platform opportunity in gene therapy, but the delay of data – even in the presence of strong cash position, low burn rate, and Biogen collaboration – is the main driver in our moving to the sidelines to a HOLD rating and lowering our price target.”
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Mara Goldstein has a yearly average return of -2.5% and a 37% success rate. Goldstein has a -15.8% average return when recommending AGTC, and is ranked #3617 out of 4143 analysts.
Out of the 5 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 2 rate Applied Genetic Technologies stock a Buy, 2 rate the stock a Hold and 1 recommends a Sell. With a return potential of 78%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $19.