Lazard Asset Management LLC Boosts Stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX)

Lazard Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) by 160.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 86,227 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock after acquiring an additional 53,177 shares during the quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Vertex Pharmaceuticals were worth $15,861,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of VRTX. Atika Capital Management LLC increased its position in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 26.8% during the first quarter. Atika Capital Management LLC now owns 26,000 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $4,783,000 after buying an additional 5,500 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 34.9% during the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 271,454 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $49,934,000 after purchasing an additional 70,296 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 36.0% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 348,330 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $64,075,000 after purchasing an additional 92,287 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 1.1% during the first quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,910,771 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $535,437,000 after purchasing an additional 31,978 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Equity Services LLC lifted its stake in Vertex Pharmaceuticals by 4.6% during the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 16,319 shares of the pharmaceutical company’s stock worth $3,001,000 after purchasing an additional 721 shares during the period. 95.08% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of VRTX opened at $168.92 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $43.70 billion, a PE ratio of 59.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.48 and a beta of 1.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.13, a current ratio of 3.78 and a quick ratio of 3.66. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated has a fifty-two week low of $145.37 and a fifty-two week high of $195.81.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 30th. The pharmaceutical company reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by $0.49. The company had revenue of $857.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $853.00 million. Vertex Pharmaceuticals had a net margin of 66.01% and a return on equity of 22.63%. The firm’s revenue was up 34.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.76 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated will post 3.06 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, EVP Stuart A. Arbuckle sold 5,624 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.75, for a total value of $1,022,162.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 36,272 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,592,436. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Sangeeta N. Bhatia sold 720 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $167.08, for a total transaction of $120,297.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 7,260 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,213,000.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 165,399 shares of company stock worth $28,980,388. 0.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several analysts have recently weighed in on VRTX shares. BidaskClub raised shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, March 16th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $220.00 target price on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $209.00 price target on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Needham & Company LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price target on shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Vertex Pharmaceuticals currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $204.36.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)

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