Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Versartis (VSAR) to Sell

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Sunday.

According to Zacks, “Versartis, Inc. operates as a biotechnology company. It develops therapeutic proteins for the treatment of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders. The Company is developing VRS-317, a long-acting recombinant human growth hormone, which is in Phase 2a clinical trials for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency. Versartis, Inc. is headquartered in Redwood City, California. “

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $14.00 price objective on Versartis and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Bank of America lowered Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Citigroup lowered Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $23.00 to $3.00 in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $5.63.

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) opened at $2.15 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 1.52 and a quick ratio of 1.52. The company has a market capitalization of $76.99, a PE ratio of -0.55 and a beta of 2.36. Versartis has a 12 month low of $1.60 and a 12 month high of $24.00.

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($1.40) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.62) by ($0.78). During the same period last year, the company posted ($0.92) earnings per share. research analysts predict that Versartis will post -4.14 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Srinivas Akkaraju purchased 419,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $2.13 per share, for a total transaction of $893,961.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 14,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,854.15. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL bought a new position in Versartis during the second quarter valued at about $218,000. Numeric Investors LLC bought a new position in Versartis during the second quarter valued at about $246,000. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Versartis by 26.1% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 14,960 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $261,000 after acquiring an additional 3,094 shares during the period. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. increased its stake in Versartis by 13.6% during the second quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 24,714 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $431,000 after acquiring an additional 2,967 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its stake in Versartis by 4.8% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 26,326 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $459,000 after acquiring an additional 1,204 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.18% of the company’s stock.

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Versartis Company Profile

Versartis, Inc is an endocrine-focused biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing a long-acting form of recombinant human growth hormone, somavaratan (VRS-317), for growth hormone deficiency (GHD), an orphan disease. The Company’s first indication for somavaratan is pediatric GHD.

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