Viking Therapeutics Inc (VKTX) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) was the target of a significant increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 28th, there was short interest totalling 15,356,397 shares, an increase of 46.9% from the September 14th total of 10,452,068 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 12,098,882 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.3 days. Currently, 24.7% of the shares of the company are sold short.

In other Viking Therapeutics news, major shareholder Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc sold 262,881 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.15, for a total transaction of $5,034,171.15. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 3.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Boxer Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Viking Therapeutics by 17.7% in the second quarter. Boxer Capital LLC now owns 3,750,000 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock worth $35,588,000 after buying an additional 564,000 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Viking Therapeutics by 681.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,938,645 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $27,888,000 after purchasing an additional 2,562,356 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new stake in Viking Therapeutics in the second quarter valued at approximately $19,552,000. Millennium Management LLC raised its stake in Viking Therapeutics by 99.1% in the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 1,399,370 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $6,115,000 after purchasing an additional 696,398 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sio Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Viking Therapeutics by 2.1% in the first quarter. Sio Capital Management LLC now owns 1,276,845 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $5,580,000 after purchasing an additional 26,595 shares in the last quarter. 53.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Viking Therapeutics stock opened at $14.46 on Friday. Viking Therapeutics has a 12-month low of $2.00 and a 12-month high of $24.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.06 billion, a PE ratio of -17.56 and a beta of 2.81.

Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 9th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.13) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.11) by ($0.02). As a group, research analysts predict that Viking Therapeutics will post -0.44 EPS for the current year.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Raymond James set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Viking Therapeutics and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of Viking Therapeutics to $28.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Roth Capital increased their price target on shares of Viking Therapeutics from $13.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Maxim Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price target (up from $14.00) on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. Finally, HC Wainwright set a $28.00 price target on shares of Viking Therapeutics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Viking Therapeutics presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $28.17.

Viking Therapeutics Company Profile

Viking Therapeutics, Inc, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Its lead clinical program, VK5211, is an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator in Phase II development for the treatment of patients recovering from non-elective hip fracture surgery; in Phase I clinical trials for improving lean body mass; and in pre-clinical trial for improving bone mineral density, bone mineral content, bone strength, and other measures.

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