BidaskClub Upgrades Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) to “Sell”

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) was upgraded by BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on VRTX. HC Wainwright reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $103.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Bank of America reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Cowen reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Friday, April 27th. Leerink Swann reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $190.00 target price (up from $175.00) on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and twenty-six have given a buy rating to the company. Vertex Pharmaceuticals presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $184.54.

NASDAQ VRTX opened at $156.34 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 3.68, a quick ratio of 3.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01. The stock has a market capitalization of $39.64 billion, a PE ratio of 195.43, a P/E/G ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.44. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $154.48 and a 12 month high of $155.93.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $641.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $626.05 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 9.36% and a return on equity of 15.28%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.99 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 1.95 earnings per share for the current year.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, January 31st that permits the company to repurchase $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the pharmaceutical company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, COO Ian F. Smith sold 85,093 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.32, for a total value of $13,471,923.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 68,745 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,883,708.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Paul M. Silva sold 3,437 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $158.49, for a total transaction of $544,730.13. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 19,525 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,094,517.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 172,907 shares of company stock valued at $27,820,874 over the last ninety days. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in VRTX. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA purchased a new position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $247,701,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 108.2% in the 4th quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,847,917 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $426,789,000 after purchasing an additional 1,479,897 shares during the last quarter. HealthCor Management L.P. raised its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 1,974.4% in the 4th quarter. HealthCor Management L.P. now owns 725,000 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $108,649,000 after purchasing an additional 690,050 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 90.1% in the 4th quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 1,203,221 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $180,315,000 after purchasing an additional 570,287 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 2.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 19,888,045 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $3,241,352,000 after purchasing an additional 478,972 shares during the last quarter. 95.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Vertex Pharmaceuticals

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)

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