Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by investment analysts at HC Wainwright in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. They currently have a $103.00 price target on the pharmaceutical company’s stock. HC Wainwright’s price target points to a potential downside of 32.24% from the company’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “Halts Triple Combination Trials in France as a Protest in Pricing Negotiations What’s new? We have recently learned via a twitter comment and associated article (http://bit.ly/2Bp7vL7) that Vertex has decided to discontinue the Phase 3 trials of its triple combination therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) in France. During the Vertex 4Q earnings call, management identified the two second-generation correctors that would be added to the combination of tezacaftor/ivacaftor to formulate the triple combination. It appears that these trials will continue in the US and other parts of Europe but will now be excluding France due to an inability to reach reimbursement agreement with the French authorities for Orkambi. As mentioned in the article, this is a disappointment to the French CF patients that have been consistent participants in numerous trials to date and were eagerly awaiting more rapid access to what could be the most effective modulator treatment yet for CF.””
A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $198.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Bank of America increased their target price on Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $180.00 to $197.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Citigroup reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $184.00 to $191.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Two research 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 a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $180.07.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.08. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 10.59%. The company had revenue of $651.63 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $592.49 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.35 earnings per share. Vertex Pharmaceuticals’s revenue was up 42.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 1.63 EPS for the current year.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 31st that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the pharmaceutical company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CEO Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 125,000 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.35, for a total transaction of $17,668,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 237,407 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $33,557,479.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 221 shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.29, for a total value of $32,551.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 403,165 shares of company stock worth $62,154,183 in the last three months. 1.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Achmea Investment Management B.V. raised its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 68.0% during the 2nd quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. now owns 8,668 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,116,000 after purchasing an additional 3,507 shares during the period. Picton Mahoney Asset Management purchased a new position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $13,077,000. IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,064,000. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. grew its holdings in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 93.1% during the 3rd quarter. Icon Advisers Inc. Co. now owns 54,463 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $8,281,000 after buying an additional 26,253 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sanders Morris Harris LLC purchased a new position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $1,117,000. 92.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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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