Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Vertex beat estimates for both earnings and sales in Q2 as sales of both its cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs rose. Vertex has two CF drugs in its portfolio with blockbuster potential – Kalydeco & Orkambi. Its efforts to get the drugs approved for additional indications are encouraging. Label expansion will increase patient population and boost sales. Vertex’s CF pipeline is quite strong with a broad portfolio of next-generation CF correctors. Investor focus is on the triple combination CF regimens, which are crucial for long-term growth as they have the potential to treat up to 90% of CF patients. We are encouraged by the recent positive data from three of the triple combination regimens. The stock has also shot up this year. However, Vertex has faced many challenges with respect to commercialization of Orkambi in ex-U.S. markets due to re-imbursement hurdles. Orkambi’s EU reimbursement remains a key for sales growth in 2H17.”

VRTX has been the topic of a number of other reports. Cowen and Company restated a buy rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday. Jefferies Group LLC initiated coverage on Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Monday, July 10th. They issued a buy rating and a $155.00 price target for the company. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $125.00 to $195.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an equal weight rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up from $90.00) on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Vetr downgraded Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a strong sell rating and set a $102.62 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, May 16th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $162.88.

Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) traded up 0.33% during trading on Friday, hitting $154.54. 807,795 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.96 billion, a PE ratio of 148.45 and a beta of 1.77. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 12 month low of $71.46 and a 12 month high of $167.85. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $137.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $111.96.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.06 by $0.33. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 12.05% and a return on equity of 4.64%. The firm had revenue of $544.10 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $489.95 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.24 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 26.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post $1.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Vertex Pharmaceuticals news, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 70,969 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.06, for a total value of $9,088,290.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 145,061 shares in the company, valued at $18,576,511.66. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP Paul M. Silva sold 2,577 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.36, for a total value of $343,668.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 22,648 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,020,337.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 745,503 shares of company stock valued at $112,220,787 in the last quarter. 1.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VRTX. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 956 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the last quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.3% in the first quarter. Elk Creek Partners LLC now owns 3,120 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $341,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.8% in the first quarter. Sowell Financial Services LLC now owns 2,762 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $325,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.4% in the first quarter. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC now owns 6,463 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $707,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Manhattan Co. boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 1.3% in the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,356 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $205,000 after buying an additional 31 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.37% of the company’s stock.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Company Profile

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is engaged in discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing medicines for serious diseases. The Company is focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) and advancing its research and development programs in other indications.

Analyst Recommendations for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)

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