Icon (ICLR) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Icon (NASDAQ:ICLR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $157.00 target price on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “ICON plc is a global full service clinical research organisation. The company provides contract clinical research services to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. “

A number of other analysts have also commented on ICLR. BidaskClub upgraded Icon from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine lowered Icon from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Barclays restated a hold rating and issued a $154.00 price target on shares of Icon in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Icon in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. They issued an outperform rating on the stock. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a buy rating and issued a $161.00 price target on shares of Icon in a report on Monday, February 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $153.40.

ICLR stock opened at $141.24 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a quick ratio of 2.02 and a current ratio of 2.02. The stock has a market cap of $7.56 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 0.62. Icon has a 1-year low of $118.10 and a 1-year high of $155.33.

Icon (NASDAQ:ICLR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The medical research company reported $1.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.60 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $674.85 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $668.93 million. Icon had a return on equity of 25.71% and a net margin of 12.56%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.44 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Icon will post 6.87 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Icon during the fourth quarter worth about $84,127,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its holdings in Icon by 17.2% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,221,160 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $303,366,000 after acquiring an additional 325,860 shares in the last quarter. WCM Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Icon by 5.4% during the fourth quarter. WCM Investment Management LLC now owns 5,272,086 shares of the medical research company’s stock worth $681,207,000 after acquiring an additional 271,375 shares in the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department bought a new stake in Icon during the fourth quarter worth about $23,301,000. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. bought a new stake in Icon during the fourth quarter worth about $22,158,000. Institutional investors own 85.76% of the company’s stock.

About Icon

ICON Public Limited Company, a clinical research organization, provides outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in Ireland, rest of Europe, the United States, and internationally. It specializes in the strategic development, management, and analysis of programs that support various stages of the clinical development process from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies.

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