Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,837,179 shares, a growth of 39.2% from the October 15th total of 2,756,220 shares. Approximately 1.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,941,590 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.0 days.

VRTX has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Monday, October 1st. They set an “overweight” rating and a $217.00 price objective on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies decreased their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals to $217.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 26th. Argus raised their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals to $200.00 and gave the company an “average” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $203.00 to $206.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, UBS Group lifted their price target on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $183.00 to $188.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $202.14.

Shares of NASDAQ VRTX opened at $180.55 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01, a quick ratio of 3.59 and a current ratio of 3.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $44.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 225.69, a P/E/G ratio of 1.74 and a beta of 1.61. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week low of $136.50 and a 52-week high of $194.92.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The pharmaceutical company reported $1.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.02 by $0.07. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 22.87% and a return on equity of 22.92%. The company had revenue of $784.54 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $782.95 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.53 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CFO Thomas Graney sold 1,076 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $193.24, for a total transaction of $207,926.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP David Altshuler sold 2,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.89, for a total transaction of $386,516.25. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 41,238 shares in the company, valued at $7,500,779.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 29,550 shares of company stock worth $5,482,235 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,935,843 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,842,436,000 after buying an additional 625,328 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 10.5% in the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 18,071,478 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,483,097,000 after buying an additional 1,714,071 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC increased its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 22.5% in the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 6,202,493 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $1,195,468,000 after buying an additional 1,139,486 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 42.1% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,050,617 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $688,443,000 after buying an additional 1,199,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 3.1% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,151,713 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $414,720,000 after buying an additional 64,205 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.51% of the company’s stock.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biotechnology company, develops medicines for serious diseases. The company focuses on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and advancing its research and development programs. It markets ORKAMBI (lumacaftor in combination with ivacaftor) to treat patients with CF 12 years of age and older who are homozygous for the F508del mutation in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene; KALYDECO (ivacaftor) for the treatment of patients with CF who have specific mutations in their CFTR gene, including the G551D mutation; and SYMDEKO (tezacaftor in combination with ivacaftor) to treat patients with CF 12 years of age and older who are F508del homozygous or who have 1 mutation that is responsive to tezacaftor/ivacaftor.

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