Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reiterated by analysts at HC Wainwright in a report issued on Tuesday. They presently have a $103.00 price target on the pharmaceutical company’s stock. HC Wainwright’s price target suggests a potential downside of 32.24% from the stock’s current price.
The analysts wrote, “Halts Triple Combination Trials in France as a Protest in Pricing Negotiations What’s new? We have recently learned via a twitter comment and associated article (http://bit.ly/2Bp7vL7) that Vertex has decided to discontinue the Phase 3 trials of its triple combination therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) in France. During the Vertex 4Q earnings call, management identified the two second-generation correctors that would be added to the combination of tezacaftor/ivacaftor to formulate the triple combination. It appears that these trials will continue in the US and other parts of Europe but will now be excluding France due to an inability to reach reimbursement agreement with the French authorities for Orkambi. As mentioned in the article, this is a disappointment to the French CF patients that have been consistent participants in numerous trials to date and were eagerly awaiting more rapid access to what could be the most effective modulator treatment yet for CF.””
Several other research firms also recently issued reports on VRTX. Maxim Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $175.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Oppenheimer upped their target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $175.00 to $190.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Bank of America reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $180.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the stock. Vertex Pharmaceuticals currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $180.07.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the 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 company had revenue of $651.63 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $592.49 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.35 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 42.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 1.63 earnings per share for the current year.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, January 31st that permits the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the pharmaceutical company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Vertex Pharmaceuticals news, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 221 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.29, for a total transaction of $32,551.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 125,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.35, for a total transaction of $17,668,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 237,407 shares in the company, valued at $33,557,479.45. 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.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VRTX. Jennison Associates LLC grew its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 19.0% during the third quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 6,017,766 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $914,941,000 after buying an additional 962,644 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. lifted its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 8,061.1% during the third quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 909,230 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $138,239,000 after purchasing an additional 898,089 shares in the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. lifted its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 9,422.3% during the third quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. now owns 893,380 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $135,829,000 after purchasing an additional 883,998 shares in the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership lifted its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 90.1% during the fourth quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 1,203,221 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $180,315,000 after purchasing an additional 570,287 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 18.8% during the fourth quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. now owns 1,428,127 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $214,019,000 after purchasing an additional 226,097 shares in the last quarter. 92.84% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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