Shares of Vital Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:VTL) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the six analysts that are covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, one has issued a hold recommendation, two have assigned a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $8.00.

VTL has been the topic of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Vital Therapies from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Vital Therapies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Vital Therapies from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 21st.

Shares of Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) opened at 5.35 on Monday. Vital Therapies has a 12-month low of $2.25 and a 12-month high of $6.50. The company’s 50-day moving average is $5.12 and its 200-day moving average is $3.61. The stock’s market cap is $225.81 million.

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported ($0.30) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.32) by $0.02. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted ($0.32) earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Vital Therapies will post ($1.27) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Muneer A. Satter bought 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $3.53 per share, for a total transaction of $176,500.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Muneer A. Satter bought 130,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $4.01 per share, with a total value of $521,300.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 190,000 shares of company stock valued at $737,800. Corporate insiders own 32.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VTL. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Vital Therapies in the first quarter worth about $167,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Vital Therapies by 1.8% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 64,545 shares of the company’s stock worth $258,000 after buying an additional 1,157 shares during the period. Susquehanna International Group LLP acquired a new position in shares of Vital Therapies in the second quarter worth about $268,000. Blair William & Co. IL boosted its holdings in shares of Vital Therapies by 67.2% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 99,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $289,000 after buying an additional 40,000 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Vital Therapies by 11.5% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 88,104 shares of the company’s stock worth $352,000 after buying an additional 9,120 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 25.58% of the company’s stock.

About Vital Therapies

Vital Therapies, Inc is a biotherapeutic company. The Company is focused on developing a human hepatic cell-based treatment targeting acute forms of liver failure. Its product candidate, the ELAD System, is an extracorporeal human allogeneic cellular liver therapy designed to allow the patient’s liver to regenerate to a healthy state, or to stabilize the patient until transplant.

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