Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) Upgraded to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report issued on Monday. They currently have $176.00 price objective on the pharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Vertex has two CF drugs — Kalydeco & Orkambi — in its portfolio with blockbuster potential. Its efforts to get the drugs approved for additional indications are encouraging. For Vertex, 2017 was a tremendous year with positive data read-outs and regulatory approvals leading to an increase in the eligible patient population for Kalydeco & Orkambi. Vertex’s CF pipeline is also quite strong with a broad portfolio of next-generation CF correctors. Investor focus is on the triple combination CF regimens, which are crucial for long-term growth, as they have the potential to treat up to 90% of CF patients. The stock shot up significantly in 2017. Estimates have also gone up ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. However, Orkambi’s reimbursement in France remains a key for sales growth in 2018.”

VRTX has been the subject of several other reports. BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. Robert W. Baird restated a buy rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Needham & Company LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $195.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Cowen restated a buy rating and issued a $200.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Finally, Bank of America upgraded shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $180.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, twenty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $175.89.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ VRTX) opened at $157.53 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01, a current ratio of 3.28 and a quick ratio of 3.14. The firm has a market cap of $40,060.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 201.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 1.58. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a one year low of $79.78 and a one year high of $167.85.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.49. The business had revenue of $578.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $522.07 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 8.53% and a return on equity of 9.23%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 39.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.16 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 0.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CMO Jeffrey Chodakewitz sold 1,718 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.19, for a total transaction of $266,616.42. Following the transaction, the chief marketing officer now owns 116,142 shares in the company, valued at $18,024,076.98. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Amit Sachdev sold 40,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.05, for a total transaction of $5,802,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 89,810 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,026,940.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 354,214 shares of company stock worth $51,154,692 in the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Achmea Investment Management B.V. increased its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 68.0% during the second quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 8,668 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,116,000 after buying an additional 3,507 shares during the period. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth about $782,000. Picton Mahoney Asset Management bought a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter worth about $13,077,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 1,191.3% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 448,975 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $57,860,000 after acquiring an additional 414,206 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Icon Advisers Inc. Co. boosted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 93.1% during the third quarter. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. now owns 54,463 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $8,281,000 after acquiring an additional 26,253 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 93.09% of the company’s stock.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medicines for serious diseases. The Company 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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