Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Verastem (VSTM) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Verastem, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on discovering and developing drugs to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. Its programs target the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/mTOR signaling pathways. Its lead FAK inhibitor is defactinib (VS-6063), an orally available candidate for combination therapy with immuno-oncology agents and other anti-cancer compounds. The company’s defactinib is in Phase 1b study for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, as well as in Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pancreatic cancer. It also engages in developing duvelisib, an investigational oral therapy that targets the PI3K signaling pathway, as well as attacks malignant B-cells and T-cells and disrupt the tumor microenvironment to help thwart their growth and proliferation for patients with lymphatic cancers through the dual inhibition of PI3K delta and gamma. “

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on VSTM. BidaskClub raised Verastem from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. ValuEngine lowered Verastem from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. HC Wainwright dropped their price target on Verastem from $13.00 to $10.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Raymond James dropped their price target on Verastem from $12.00 to $6.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 14th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald assumed coverage on Verastem in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. They issued an overweight rating and a $5.00 price target on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Verastem has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $11.64.

Shares of VSTM opened at $2.37 on Friday. Verastem has a 52-week low of $2.32 and a 52-week high of $10.35. The company has a current ratio of 6.83, a quick ratio of 6.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. The company has a market capitalization of $193.57 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -1.73 and a beta of 3.03.

Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 12th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.37) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.60) by $0.23. The business had revenue of $1.21 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 million. Equities analysts predict that Verastem will post -1.75 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Timothy J. Barberich bought 33,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $3.21 per share, with a total value of $105,930.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 168,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $539,280. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 5.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Cohen Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Verastem by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Cohen Capital Management Inc. now owns 253,560 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $852,000 after purchasing an additional 3,960 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of Verastem by 16.0% during the fourth quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 32,375 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 4,475 shares during the period. Kalos Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Verastem by 30.0% during the fourth quarter. Kalos Management Inc. now owns 29,250 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $94,000 after purchasing an additional 6,750 shares during the period. MML Investors Services LLC raised its position in shares of Verastem by 70.0% during the fourth quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 17,000 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $57,000 after purchasing an additional 7,000 shares during the period. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Verastem by 8.1% during the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 126,890 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $920,000 after purchasing an additional 9,466 shares during the period. 59.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Verastem Company Profile

Verastem, Inc, operating as Verastem Oncology, is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on developing and commercializing medicines to improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. It markets COPIKTRA (duvelisib), an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and dual inhibitor of PI3K-delta and PI3K-gamma, which is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma after at least two prior therapies and relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after at least two prior systemic therapies.

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