Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 22,218,913 shares, an increase of 12.2% from the October 15th total of 19,809,519 shares. Currently, 40.3% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,924,213 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.6 days.
In related news, major shareholder Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc sold 262,881 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.15, for a total transaction of $5,034,171.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 3.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. FMR LLC bought a new stake in Viking Therapeutics in the 3rd quarter valued at $125,858,000. American International Group Inc. increased its holdings in Viking Therapeutics by 21.3% in the 3rd quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 34,403 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $599,000 after buying an additional 6,036 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Viking Therapeutics by 14.0% in the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,349,901 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $58,355,000 after buying an additional 411,256 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in Viking Therapeutics by 11.4% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 385,484 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $6,714,000 after buying an additional 39,455 shares during the period. Finally, Eagle Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Viking Therapeutics by 68.1% in the 3rd quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 130,987 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,281,000 after buying an additional 53,076 shares during the period. 53.56% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Viking Therapeutics stock opened at $12.33 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $833.44 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.61 and a beta of 2.92. Viking Therapeutics has a 52-week low of $2.24 and a 52-week high of $24.00.
Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.01. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Viking Therapeutics will post -0.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Several equities analysts recently commented on VKTX shares. SunTrust Banks started coverage on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, July 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $14.00 target price for the company. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Viking Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 21st. HC Wainwright reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, August 10th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Raymond James reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $43.00 target price (up from $15.00) on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $28.17.
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Viking Therapeutics Company Profile
Viking Therapeutics, Inc, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Its lead clinical program, VK5211, is an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator in Phase II development for the treatment of patients recovering from non-elective hip fracture surgery; in Phase I clinical trials for improving lean body mass; and in pre-clinical trial for improving bone mineral density, bone mineral content, bone strength, and other measures.
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