NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Galena Biopharma (GALE) stock was upgraded to "outperform" from "perform" at Oppenheimer on Thursday. The firm set a $4 price target on the stock.

The bio-pharmaceutical company's decision earlier this week to divest its commercial business is a meaningful step towards unlocking value, Oppenheimer said.

Ending its commercial business will allow Galena to focus exclusively on the high-value cancer immunotherapy pipeline, the firm added.

Oppenheimer analysts lowered their full year 2015 earnings estimate to 28 cents per share from 37 cents per share.

Shares of Galena were up by 8.22% to $1.58 in pre-market trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Recommends

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GALENA BIOPHARMA INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate GALENA BIOPHARMA INC (GALE) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. Among the areas we feel are negative, one of the most important has been a generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • GALE has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 10.42% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, GALENA BIOPHARMA INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for GALENA BIOPHARMA INC is currently very high, coming in at 89.41%. Regardless of GALE's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, GALE's net profit margin of -463.03% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • GALENA BIOPHARMA INC has improved earnings per share by 41.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GALENA BIOPHARMA INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.30 versus -$0.79 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.3% in earnings (-$0.31 versus -$0.30).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Biotechnology industry average. The net income increased by 21.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from -$19.94 million to -$15.66 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GALE

Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of Jim Cramer, TheStreet or any of its contributors.