Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday. The firm currently has $1.50 price target on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “VIVUS' Qsymia is the first weight-loss drug to receive FDA approval in 13 years. Sales of Qsymia have been weak since its launch due to high out-of-pocket cost burden for patients owing to lack of reimbursement for the product. However, Qsymia sales rose in the first quarter of 2017 due to revenue recognition change as well as seasonal growth of the anti-obesity market. VIVUS is also working on boosting Qsymia sales by expanding reimbursement and promotional initiatives. However, challenges in the obesity market remain. Nonetheless, we are positive on VIVUS’ partnership agreements for Stendra as these provide the company with a steady stream of cash flow from upfront and milestone payments. The recent acquisition of tacrolimus for the PAH indication also looks good. Estimates have remained mostly stable lately ahead of the Q2 results. VIVUS has a negative record of earnings surprises in the recent quarters.”

VIVUS (VVUS) opened at 1.20 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $126.82 million, a P/E ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.85. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $1.21 and its 200 day moving average price is $1.13. VIVUS has a 1-year low of $0.93 and a 1-year high of $1.47.

VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.01) EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.13) by $0.12. The company had revenue of $27.01 million during the quarter. VIVUS had a negative return on equity of 445.42% and a net margin of 25.71%. On average, equities analysts anticipate that VIVUS will post ($0.39) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VVUS. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in VIVUS during the first quarter valued at about $113,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in VIVUS by 3.6% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 106,842 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 3,694 shares in the last quarter. Oxford Asset Management raised its stake in VIVUS by 76.6% in the first quarter. Oxford Asset Management now owns 587,535 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $658,000 after buying an additional 254,912 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC raised its stake in VIVUS by 164.7% in the first quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,075,430 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,205,000 after buying an additional 669,165 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in VIVUS by 18.9% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,377,354 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $5,034,000 after buying an additional 695,512 shares in the last quarter. 34.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

VIVUS Company Profile

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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