Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at SunTrust Banks

SunTrust Banks initiated coverage on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) in a research report released on Tuesday morning, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. The brokerage issued a buy rating and a $235.00 target price on the pharmaceutical company’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a neutral rating to a buy rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $226.00 to $254.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $205.00 to $225.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Robert W. Baird set a $210.00 price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 21st. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $240.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their price objective on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from $230.00 to $247.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Thursday, October 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $216.94.

VRTX traded up $4.80 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $209.80. 1,573,800 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,551,424. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12, a quick ratio of 3.32 and a current ratio of 3.44. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $184.77 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $177.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $53.26 billion, a PE ratio of 74.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.93 and a beta of 1.46. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a 1 year low of $151.80 and a 1 year high of $210.05.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The pharmaceutical company reported $1.23 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.36. The company had revenue of $949.83 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $942.90 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 59.24% and a return on equity of 20.33%. Vertex Pharmaceuticals’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.09 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Vertex Pharmaceuticals will post 3.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, EVP David Altshuler sold 12,501 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $186.38, for a total transaction of $2,329,936.38. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 35,803 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,672,963.14. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Ourania Tatsis sold 188 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $169.11, for a total value of $31,792.68. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,696 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,301,470.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 278,850 shares of company stock valued at $53,873,273. 0.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 17.2% during the third quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 4,698 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $800,000 after purchasing an additional 691 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 11.9% during the third quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 3,011 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $513,000 after purchasing an additional 321 shares during the period. Corient Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 26.3% during the third quarter. Corient Capital Partners LLC now owns 2,600 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $441,000 after purchasing an additional 542 shares during the period. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 0.8% during the third quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 9,788 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,658,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares during the period. Finally, TimesSquare Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 20.6% during the third quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC now owns 615,220 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $104,231,000 after purchasing an additional 105,030 shares during the period. 94.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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