Versartis (VSAR) Shares Gap Up Following Insider Buying Activity

Versartis, Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAR)’s share price 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 trading hands.

Specifically, Director Srinivas Akkaraju purchased 419,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 acquisition, the director now owns 14,955 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,854.15. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, major shareholder Life Sciences Maste Perceptive sold 2,130,000 shares of Versartis stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $3.29, for a total transaction of $7,007,700.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 2,132,769 shares of company stock worth $7,014,761. Insiders own 10.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently commented on VSAR. ValuEngine cut shares of Versartis from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Cowen reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Versartis in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Citigroup cut shares of Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $23.00 to $3.00 in a report on Monday, September 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Versartis from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 30th. Finally, Bank of America cut shares of Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, September 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $7.22.

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

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

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Versartis during the 3rd quarter valued at $319,000. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Versartis by 11.9% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,121,401 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $19,569,000 after purchasing an additional 118,894 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its position in shares of Versartis by 63.1% during the 2nd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 288,960 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $5,042,000 after purchasing an additional 111,824 shares in the last quarter. First Quadrant L P CA grew its position in shares of Versartis by 1,253.8% during the 3rd quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 120,500 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $295,000 after purchasing an additional 111,599 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sectoral Asset Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of Versartis during the 2nd quarter valued at $1,828,000. 49.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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