Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) by 4.2% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 39,111 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock after buying an additional 1,578 shares during the quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Vertex Pharmaceuticals were worth $5,945,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in VRTX. Smithfield Trust Co. acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter worth $135,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter worth $162,000. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 4th quarter worth $184,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 4th quarter worth $184,000. Finally, Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter worth $198,000. 92.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research firms have commented on VRTX. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $180.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. HC Wainwright reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $103.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, January 21st. Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $180.07.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $651.63 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $592.49 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 10.59% and a return on equity of 11.02%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 42.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.35 EPS. analysts predict that Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated will post 1.63 earnings per share for the current year.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, January 31st that authorizes the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the pharmaceutical company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CEO Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 125,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.35, for a total value of $17,668,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 237,407 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $33,557,479.45. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Paul M. Silva sold 1,289 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $152.31, for a total transaction of $196,327.59. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 17,923 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,729,852.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 403,165 shares of company stock valued at $62,154,183. Company insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.
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About Vertex Pharmaceuticals
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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