Conatus Pharmaceuticals (CNAT) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Conatus presently has no approved product in its portfolio. Though the company is progressing well with its lead Candidate, emricasan for chronic liver diseases, it is still several years away from entering the market. Any development/regulatory setback of emricasan could hamper Conatus’ prospects. The company is alos conducting several phase IIb studies on emricasan, targeting different types of NASH patient populations. Notably, several companies are working on developing treatments for NASH, which might make the market competitive for emricasan. The stock has underperformed the industry in the last one year. However, we are encouraged by Conatus’ agreement with Novartis for emricasan, as it not only lends expertise to the company, but also provides it with funds to develop emricasan.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on CNAT. Seaport Global Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $16.00 target price on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, October 6th. HC Wainwright reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $17.00 target price (down previously from $18.00) on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $14.00.

Shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ CNAT) traded down $0.02 on Tuesday, hitting $4.69. 115,300 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 273,322. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.41, a current ratio of 2.69 and a quick ratio of 2.69. Conatus Pharmaceuticals has a 12-month low of $3.88 and a 12-month high of $9.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $139.53, a price-to-earnings ratio of -5.79 and a beta of 1.10.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The biotechnology company reported ($0.13) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by ($0.08). Conatus Pharmaceuticals had a negative net margin of 80.98% and a negative return on equity of 83.02%. The firm had revenue of $9.57 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $16.06 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.31) EPS. equities analysts anticipate that Conatus Pharmaceuticals will post -0.65 EPS for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Sterling Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter worth about $708,000. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 323.0% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 62,977 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $363,000 after buying an additional 48,090 shares during the period. DAFNA Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter worth about $288,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new position in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter worth about $330,000. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 640.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 297,152 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $1,712,000 after buying an additional 257,030 shares during the period. 36.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company operates through commercialization and development of pharmaceutical products segment. The Company is engaged in developing emricasan, which is an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease.

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