VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “VIVUS' Qsymia is the first weight-loss drug to receive FDA approval in 13 years. Sales of Qsymia have been weak since its launch due to high out-of-pocket cost burden for patients owing to lack of reimbursement for the product. VIVUS is working on boosting Qsymia sales by expanding reimbursement and promotional initiatives. However, challenges in the obesity market remain. Moreover, the branded obesity market is competitive with quite a few players present in the market. VIVUS is also yet to start post-marketing AQCLAIM study as part of Qsymia’s approval. Nonetheless, VIVUS’ partnership agreements for Stendra is a positive as it gives the company a steady stream of cash flow from upfront and milestone payments. The recent acquisition of tacrolimus for the PAH indication also looks good. Estimates have remained mostly stable lately ahead of the Q2 results. VIVUS has a negative record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

Shares of VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) traded down 2.44% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $1.20. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 251,921 shares. VIVUS has a 12 month low of $0.93 and a 12 month high of $1.47. The firm has a market cap of $126.82 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.85. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $1.21 and a 200-day moving average price of $1.13.

VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.01) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.13) by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $27.01 million for the quarter. VIVUS had a negative return on equity of 445.42% and a net margin of 25.71%. Equities analysts expect that VIVUS will post ($0.39) earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its stake in VIVUS by 41.2% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 6,182,454 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $6,924,000 after buying an additional 1,805,100 shares during the period. Oxford Asset Management increased its stake in VIVUS by 76.6% in the first quarter. Oxford Asset Management now owns 587,535 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $658,000 after buying an additional 254,912 shares during the period. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in VIVUS during the first quarter valued at about $113,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its stake in VIVUS by 3.6% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 106,842 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 3,694 shares during the period. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its stake in VIVUS by 164.7% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,075,430 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,205,000 after buying an additional 669,165 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 34.62% of the company’s stock.

VIVUS Company Profile

VIVUS, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED).

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