Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of 22nd Century Group Inc (NYSE:XXII) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Saturday morning. The brokerage currently has $2.50 target price on the biotechnology company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “22nd Century Group, Inc. is a plant biotechnology company focused on decreasing/increasing the level of nicotine in the tobacco plant through genetic engineering and breeding. The Company is focused on development of smoking cessation aid and owns and controls several patents. The company’s products include X-22, a prescription smoking cessation aid, which is a tobacco-based botanical medical product for use as a smoking cessation therapy. 22nd Century Group, Inc. is based in Williamsville, New York. “

Shares of 22nd Century Group (NYSE:XXII) traded down 1.76% during trading on Friday, reaching $2.23. 803,862 shares of the company were exchanged. 22nd Century Group has a 52-week low of $0.81 and a 52-week high of $2.84. The firm’s market cap is $229.15 million. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.90 and its 200-day moving average is $1.46.

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In other 22nd Century Group news, VP Michael Robert Moynihan sold 29,532 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.00, for a total transaction of $59,064.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 917,220 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,834,440. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of 22nd Century Group by 17.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,894,322 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $5,065,000 after buying an additional 432,450 shares during the last quarter. National Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of 22nd Century Group by 13.7% in the first quarter. National Asset Management Inc. now owns 172,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $204,000 after buying an additional 20,700 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of 22nd Century Group by 22.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 133,797 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $234,000 after buying an additional 24,401 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Virtu KCG Holdings LLC increased its stake in shares of 22nd Century Group by 300.9% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 126,106 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $221,000 after buying an additional 94,650 shares during the last quarter.

About 22nd Century Group

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