Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(

LGND

) as a strong and under the radar candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Ligand Pharmaceuticals as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • LGND has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $29.9 million.
  • LGND has traded 125.239000000000004320099833421409130096435546875 options contracts today.
  • LGND is making at least a new 3-day high.
  • LGND has a PE ratio of 217.
  • LGND is mentioned 1.90 times per day on StockTwits.
  • LGND has not yet been mentioned on StockTwits today.
  • LGND is currently in the upper 20% of its 1-year range.
  • LGND is in the upper 35% of its 20-day range.
  • LGND is in the upper 45% of its 5-day range.
  • LGND is currently trading above yesterday's high.

'Strong and Under the Radar' stocks tend to be worthwhile stocks to watch for a variety of factors including historical back testing and price action. Market technicians refer to such stocks as being in an accumulation phase before a mark-up and peak. Traders and hedge funds have frequently found that these types of stocks continue to build a solid price base and then ultimately spike higher and peak when others 'discover' how good the stock is performing. By leveraging the social discovery aspect of StockTwits we are highlighting stocks that don't currently receive much attention from retail investors, but we suspect may soon garner more attention.

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More details on LGND:

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated operates as a biotechnology company in the United States. LGND has a PE ratio of 217. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Ligand Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for Ligand Pharmaceuticals has been 398,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ligand has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. The stock has a beta of 0.05 and a short float of 24.1% with 13.85 days to cover. Shares are up 105.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Ligand Pharmaceuticals as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • 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. When compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, LIGAND PHARMACEUTICAL INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 194.10% to $7.58 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LIGAND PHARMACEUTICAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -81.18%.
  • The gross profit margin for LIGAND PHARMACEUTICAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 97.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, LGND's net profit margin of 5.16% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LGND's share price has jumped by 110.63%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • LIGAND PHARMACEUTICAL INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIGAND PHARMACEUTICAL INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.57 versus $0.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.26 versus $0.57).

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