Analysts’ Recent Ratings Changes for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX)

Several brokerages have updated their recommendations and price targets on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) in the last few weeks:

  • 2/10/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Vertex beat both earnings and sales estimates in fourth-quarter 2017. Positive data read-outs and regulatory approvals in 2017 increased the eligible patient population for its two CF drugs, Kalydeco & Orkambi, which backed sales growth. Vertex’s CF pipeline is also quite strong with a broad portfolio of next-generation CF correctors.  A tezacaftor/ivacaftor combo medicine is expected to be approved in February, which will be a significant contributor to growth in 2018. 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. The stock has also shot up significantly in the past year. However, Vertex faces some challenges with respect to commercialization of Orkambi in ex-U.S. markets due to re-imbursement hurdles. Also, competitive pressure is rising in the CF market with many other companies developing triple combo CF medicines.”
  • 2/2/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $198.00 to $200.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at Bank of America Corp from $180.00 to $197.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at HC Wainwright. They now have a $103.00 price target on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Citigroup Inc.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at BMO Capital Markets from $184.00 to $191.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Leerink Swann. They now have a $190.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $175.00.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada to $200.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC. They now have a $195.00 price target on the stock.
  • 2/1/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at Barclays PLC from $180.00 to $200.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 1/31/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Maxim Group. They now have a $195.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, “On January 8 at the JP Morgan Conference, Vertex reiterated 2017 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) revenue of $2.1B – $2.15B, an increase of 23% from YE-2016 and in-line with our model. As of the last update following 3Q17, Vertex guided YE-2017 Kalydeco revenue of $810M-$830M, Orkambi revenue of $1.29B- $1.32B and non-GAAP operating expenses of $1.33B-$1.36B, each in-line with our model. Street consensus estimates for 4Q17 for Kalydeco revenue is $230.6M vs. our estimate of $236.7M, Orkambi revenue of $359.9M vs. our estimate of $378.7M, non-GAAP opex of $356M vs. our estimate of $352.4M and non-GAAP EPS of $0.53 vs. our estimate of $0.63.””
  • 1/24/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 1/23/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Bank of America Corp. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/21/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Vertex has two CF drugs — Kalydeco & Orkambi — in its portfolio with blockbuster potential. For Vertex, 2017 was a tremendous year with positive data read-outs and regulatory approvals leading to an increase in the eligible patient population for Kalydeco & Orkambi. Vertex’s CF pipeline is also 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. The stock shot up in the past one year. Estimates have slightly gone up ahead of Q4 earnings release. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. However, Vertex has faced some challenges with respect to commercialization of Orkambi in ex-U.S. markets due to re-imbursement hurdles. Orkambi’s reimbursement in France remains a key for sales growth in 2018.”
  • 1/9/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co..
  • 1/8/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating. They now have a $176.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Vertex has two CF drugs — Kalydeco & Orkambi — in its portfolio with blockbuster potential. Its efforts to get the drugs approved for additional indications are encouraging. For Vertex, 2017 was a tremendous year with positive data read-outs and regulatory approvals leading to an increase in the eligible patient population for Kalydeco & Orkambi. Vertex’s CF pipeline is also 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. The stock shot up significantly in 2017. Estimates have also gone up ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters. However, Orkambi’s reimbursement in France remains a key for sales growth in 2018.”
  • 1/5/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals was upgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $180.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/4/2018 – Vertex Pharmaceuticals had its price target raised by analysts at Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. from $175.00 to $190.00. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) opened at $152.96 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 4.79, a quick ratio of 4.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has a 1 year low of $84.39 and a 1 year high of $174.96. The stock has a market cap of $38,737.58, a price-to-earnings ratio of 147.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.61.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.08. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 10.59% and a return on equity of 11.02%. The firm had revenue of $651.63 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $592.49 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.35 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 42.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated will post 1.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 221 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.29, for a total value of $32,551.09. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Thomas Graney sold 777 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $149.95, for a total transaction of $116,511.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 403,165 shares of company stock worth $62,154,183 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

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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