Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE) investors are heading for the hills after the small biotech firm announced it has commenced an underwritten public offering, subject to market and other conditions, to issue and sell shares of its common stock and warrants to purchase shares of its common stock.

The public offering would dilute shareholders’ investments, and as such Galena shares are dropping nearly 18% to $1.15 in after-hours trading. GALE has a 1-year high of $49.80 and a 1-year low of $1.02. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.85 and its 200-day moving average is $1.16.

On the ratings front, GALE has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino downgraded GALE to Hold, with a price target of $4.00, which represents a potential upside of 176% from where the stock is currently trading. On February 2, Maxim’s Jason McCarthy downgraded the stock to Hold as well.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Vernon Bernardino and Jason McCarthy have a yearly average loss of -18.8% and -16.7% respectively. Bernardino has a success rate of 25% and is ranked #4323 out of 4382 analysts, while McCarthy has a success rate of 33% and is ranked #4313.

Galena Biopharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of hematology and oncology therapeutics that address unmet medical needs. The company focuses on identifying and advancing therapeutic opportunities to improve cancer care from direct treatment of the disease to the reduction of its debilitating side effects. Its products include Abstral sublingual tablets and Zuplenz oral soluble film. The company was founded by Craig Mello on April 3, 2006 and is headquartered in San Ramon, CA.