Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “VIVUS’ key product, Qsymia, targets the highly lucrative obesity market which represents huge commercial potential. Qsymia is the first weight-loss drug to receive FDA approval in 13 years. Given the unmet medical need, upside potential in the obesity market remains high. VIVUS is working on boosting Qsymia sales through expanding reimbursement and promotional initiatives. We are also positive on VIVUS’ partnership agreements for Stendra as these provide the company with a steady stream of cash flow in the form of upfront and milestone payments. Apart from that, VIVUS stands to gain from the vast marketing experience of its partners like Sanofi. However, Qsymia’s performance remains lackluster and challenges in the obesity market may make it difficult to drive Qsymia sales. Patent challenges remain a concern as well.”

Separately, WallachBeth Capital set a $2.80 target price on shares of Vivus and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $1.68.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) opened at 1.12 on Thursday. The company’s market capitalization is $116.68 million. Vivus has a 52 week low of $0.92 and a 52 week high of $1.85. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $1.09 and a 200-day moving average price of $1.23.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.31) by $0.20. The business had revenue of $13.77 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.19) EPS. The company’s revenue was down 40.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Vivus will post ($0.36) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VVUS. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new position in Vivus during the second quarter worth approximately $435,000. Laurion Capital Management LP purchased a new position in Vivus during the second quarter worth approximately $240,000. State Street Corp raised its position in Vivus by 11.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,761,029 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,464,000 after buying an additional 178,565 shares during the period. Alpine Partners VI LLC purchased a new position in Vivus during the second quarter worth approximately $158,000. Finally, LMR Partners LLP purchased a new position in Vivus during the second quarter worth approximately $154,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 37.03% of the company’s stock.

About Vivus

VIVUS, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED).

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