Versartis (VSAR) Shares Gap Up Following Insider Buying Activity

Versartis, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAR) gapped up before the market opened on Wednesday following insider buying activity. The stock had previously closed at $1.76, but opened at $2.03. Versartis shares last traded at $2.35, with a volume of 2805061 shares changing hands.

Specifically, major shareholder Life Sciences Maste Perceptive sold 2,130,000 shares of Versartis stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $3.29, for a total transaction of $7,007,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Srinivas Akkaraju purchased 419,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were bought at an average price of $2.13 per share, with a total value of $893,961.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 14,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $31,854.15. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,132,769 shares of company stock worth $7,014,761 over the last ninety days. 10.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of brokerages have weighed in on VSAR. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price target on shares of Versartis in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $14.00 price target (down from $34.00) on shares of Versartis in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $4.00 price target (up from $3.00) on shares of Versartis in a research report on Friday, September 22nd. Citigroup cut shares of Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the company from $23.00 to $3.00 in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Finally, Cowen reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $45.00 price target on shares of Versartis in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $7.22.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11, a current ratio of 1.52 and a quick ratio of 1.52.

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($1.40) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.62) by ($0.78). During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted ($0.92) EPS. research analysts anticipate that Versartis, Inc. will post -4.14 earnings per share for the current year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of America Corp DE grew its holdings in shares of Versartis by 46.3% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 9,482 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $203,000 after purchasing an additional 3,001 shares in the last quarter. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL acquired a new position in shares of Versartis in the second quarter valued at approximately $218,000. Numeric Investors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Versartis in the second quarter valued at approximately $246,000. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Versartis by 26.1% in the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 14,960 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $261,000 after purchasing an additional 3,094 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board acquired a new position in shares of Versartis in the second quarter valued at approximately $419,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 49.18% of the company’s stock.

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Versartis Company Profile

Versartis, Inc is an endocrine-focused biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing a long-acting form of recombinant human growth hormone, somavaratan (VRS-317), for growth hormone deficiency (GHD), an orphan disease. The Company’s first indication for somavaratan is pediatric GHD.

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