ValuEngine upgraded shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Thursday, ValuEngine reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Citigroup reissued a buy rating and set a $205.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a buy rating and set a $220.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. HC Wainwright reissued a buy rating and set a $220.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Maxim Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Needham & Company LLC lowered Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $206.95.

Shares of VRTX stock opened at $184.94 on Thursday. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 1 year low of $151.80 and a 1 year high of $195.81. The stock has a market cap of $46.55 billion, a PE ratio of 65.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 1.40. The business’s fifty day moving average is $177.09 and its 200-day moving average is $178.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a quick ratio of 3.63 and a current ratio of 3.74.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The pharmaceutical company reported $0.99 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.24. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a return on equity of 21.73% and a net margin of 64.13%. The company had revenue of $941.29 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $884.66 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.94 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts predict that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 3.41 earnings per share for the current year.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, July 31st that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the pharmaceutical company to buy up to 1.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CEO Jeffrey M. Leiden sold 113,432 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.10, for a total value of $19,861,943.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 219,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $38,472,796.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Sangeeta N. Bhatia sold 720 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $167.08, for a total value of $120,297.60. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 7,260 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,213,000.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 195,292 shares of company stock valued at $34,357,560. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of VRTX. International Biotechnology Trust PLC boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 66.3% during the second quarter. International Biotechnology Trust PLC now owns 85,022 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $15,585,000 after purchasing an additional 33,900 shares during the last quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 1.9% during the second quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC now owns 973,300 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $178,484,000 after purchasing an additional 18,000 shares during the last quarter. UBS Group AG boosted its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.7% during the second quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 251,951 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $46,202,000 after purchasing an additional 1,657 shares during the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at $705,000. Finally, WealthStone Inc. acquired a new stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals during the second quarter valued at $472,000. 94.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated engages in developing and commercializing therapies for treating cystic fibrosis. The company markets SYMDEKO/SYMKEVI, ORKAMBI, and KALYDECO to treat patients with cystic fibrosis who have specific mutations in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene.

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Analyst Recommendations for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)

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