Verastem (VSTM) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Verastem, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on discovering and developing drugs to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. Its programs target the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/mTOR signaling pathways. Its lead FAK inhibitor is defactinib (VS-6063), an orally available candidate for combination therapy with immuno-oncology agents and other anti-cancer compounds. The company’s defactinib is in Phase 1b study for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, as well as in Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pancreatic cancer. It also engages in developing duvelisib, an investigational oral therapy that targets the PI3K signaling pathway, as well as attacks malignant B-cells and T-cells and disrupt the tumor microenvironment to help thwart their growth and proliferation for patients with lymphatic cancers through the dual inhibition of PI3K delta and gamma. “

Several other equities analysts have also commented on VSTM. HC Wainwright dropped their price target on shares of Verastem from $13.00 to $10.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Raymond James dropped their price target on shares of Verastem from $12.00 to $6.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 14th. Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage on shares of Verastem in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. They set an “overweight” rating and a $5.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine lowered shares of Verastem from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, BTIG Research dropped their price target on shares of Verastem to $8.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Verastem has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $8.69.

Shares of NASDAQ:VSTM traded up $0.02 during trading on Friday, reaching $1.32. The stock had a trading volume of 38,148 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,499,701. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.42, a current ratio of 7.57 and a quick ratio of 7.56. The firm has a market cap of $93.08 million, a PE ratio of -0.98 and a beta of 2.83. Verastem has a fifty-two week low of $1.16 and a fifty-two week high of $10.35.

Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.51) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.46) by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $1.67 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.84 million. Verastem had a negative net margin of 315.21% and a negative return on equity of 79.68%. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Verastem will post -1.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Timothy J. Barberich bought 33,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 15th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $3.21 per share, for a total transaction of $105,930.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 168,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $539,280. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 6.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VSTM. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. bought a new position in Verastem during the 1st quarter valued at $30,000. Amalgamated Bank bought a new position in Verastem during the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Verastem during the 4th quarter valued at $35,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA bought a new position in Verastem during the 1st quarter valued at $42,000. Finally, MML Investors Services LLC boosted its stake in Verastem by 70.0% during the 4th quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 17,000 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $57,000 after acquiring an additional 7,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.83% of the company’s stock.

Verastem Company Profile

Verastem, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company, focusing on developing and commercializing medicines to improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients. It markets COPIKTRA (duvelisib), an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and dual inhibitor of PI3K-delta and PI3K-gamma, which is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma after at least two prior therapies and relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after at least two prior systemic therapies.

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