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

Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 22,218,913 shares, a growth of 12.2% from the October 15th total of 19,809,519 shares. Currently, 40.3% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 2,924,213 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 7.6 days.

In related news, major shareholder Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc sold 262,881 shares of Viking Therapeutics stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.15, for a total transaction of $5,034,171.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 3.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. First Mercantile Trust Co. purchased a new position in Viking Therapeutics during the 3rd quarter worth $131,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Viking Therapeutics in the second quarter valued at about $114,000. Strs Ohio purchased a new stake in shares of Viking Therapeutics in the second quarter valued at about $120,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Viking Therapeutics in the second quarter valued at about $129,000. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System purchased a new stake in shares of Viking Therapeutics in the second quarter valued at about $144,000. 53.56% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Viking Therapeutics stock opened at $12.33 on Friday. Viking Therapeutics has a 1 year low of $2.24 and a 1 year high of $24.00. The firm has a market cap of $851.64 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.61 and a beta of 2.92.

Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 9th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.01. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Viking Therapeutics will post -0.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on VKTX shares. SunTrust Banks started coverage on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, July 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $14.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Viking Therapeutics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 21st. HC Wainwright reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 price target on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research note on Friday, August 10th. William Blair reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Raymond James reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $43.00 price objective (up from $15.00) on shares of Viking Therapeutics in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $28.00.

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About Viking Therapeutics

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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