Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Vertex has two CF drugs – Kalydeco & Orkambi – in its portfolio with blockbuster potential. Vertex’s is working to get both drugs approved for additional indications as approval for additional indications will expand the patient population and boost sales. However, while impressed by Vertex’s progress with its CF franchise, the company’s Orkambi guidance for 2016 fell short of expectations. Given the slower than expected launch in Germany and the close to peak penetration for the approved indication in the U.S., Vertex expects further revenue growth for Orkambi to occur mainly in the fourth quarter provided its label is expanded. The discontinuation rate is also a matter of concern. Also the Aug 2016 decision to stop one of the phase III studies being conducted on the VX-661 – ivacaftor combination hurt investor confidence.”
A number of other research firms also recently commented on VRTX. Leerink Swann reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $113.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Monday, August 15th. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $108.00 to $105.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. JMP Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Maxim Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.45.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) opened at 88.84 on Tuesday. The company’s market capitalization is $22.01 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $95.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $89.66. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $75.90 and a 52-week high of $134.71.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.03. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a negative return on equity of 12.34% and a negative net margin of 17.77%. The firm earned $431.61 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $428.08 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.54) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 159.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post $1.00 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Joshua S. Boger sold 6,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.81, for a total value of $577,265.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 274,725 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,398,327.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Joshua S. Boger sold 5,140 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.99, for a total value of $457,408.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 273,365 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,326,751.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VRTX. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 7.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,852,428 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $465,210,000 after buying an additional 416,837 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 13.4% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 990,015 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $78,696,000 after buying an additional 117,315 shares in the last quarter. Algert Global LLC increased its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 58.2% in the first quarter. Algert Global LLC now owns 8,021 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $638,000 after buying an additional 2,951 shares in the last quarter. FDO Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the first quarter valued at about $581,000. Finally, Wrapmanager Inc. increased its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 7.9% in the first quarter. Wrapmanager Inc. now owns 7,040 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $560,000 after buying an additional 514 shares in the last quarter. 96.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in the business of discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medicines for serious diseases. The Company operates in pharmaceuticals segment. Its business is focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and advancing its research and development programs in other indications.
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