Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Vertex beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 as sales of both its cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs rose. Vertex has two CF drugs in its portfolio with blockbuster potential – Kalydeco & Orkambi. Its efforts to get the drugs approved for additional indications are encouraging. Label expansion will increase patient population and boost sales. Vertex’s CF pipeline is 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. We are encouraged by the recent positive data from three of the triple combination regimens. The stock has also shot up this year. However, Vertex has faced many challenges with respect to commercialization of Orkambi in ex-U.S. markets due to re-imbursement hurdles. Orkambi’s EU reimbursement remains a key for sales growth in 2H17.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Sunday, April 30th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $135.00 target price (up from $132.00) on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, May 19th. Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $130.00 to $154.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $171.00 target price (up from $136.00) on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $105.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $162.88.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) traded up 0.33% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $154.54. 807,795 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $137.73 and a 200-day moving average price of $111.96. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 12-month low of $71.46 and a 12-month high of $167.85. The company has a market cap of $38.96 billion, a PE ratio of 150.04 and a beta of 1.77.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.33. The business had revenue of $544.10 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $489.95 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 12.05% and a return on equity of 4.64%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post $1.59 EPS for the current year.

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In other Vertex Pharmaceuticals news, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 70,969 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $128.06, for a total value of $9,088,290.14. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 145,061 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,576,511.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CMO Jeffrey Chodakewitz sold 1,796 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $154.13, for a total transaction of $276,817.48. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 116,220 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,912,988.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 745,503 shares of company stock valued at $112,220,787 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of VRTX. Korea Investment CORP boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 225.3% in the first quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 950 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 658 shares during the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 956 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 7.1% in the first quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 1,500 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $164,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth $186,000. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth $197,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.37% of the company’s stock.

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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