Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong-Buy

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $43.00 price target on the medical research company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Natera, Inc. offers genetic testing and diagnostics with proprietary bioinformatics and molecular technology. Natera, Inc. is headquartered in San Carlos, California. “

Several other brokerages have also commented on NTRA. Cowen lifted their target price on Natera from $30.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock an average rating in a research report on Friday, October 18th. ValuEngine lowered Natera from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Craig Hallum lifted their target price on Natera from $29.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, August 8th. BidaskClub upgraded Natera from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 8th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity restated a buy rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Natera in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Natera has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $42.20.

Shares of NTRA traded down $0.39 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $38.58. The stock had a trading volume of 251,902 shares, compared to its average volume of 690,745. The company has a market cap of $2.71 billion, a PE ratio of -17.94 and a beta of 1.42. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $35.11 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $27.66. The company has a quick ratio of 2.42, a current ratio of 2.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.10. Natera has a fifty-two week low of $11.08 and a fifty-two week high of $40.92.

Natera (NASDAQ:NTRA) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The medical research company reported ($0.48) EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.57) by $0.09. The company had revenue of $74.36 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $66.77 million. Natera had a negative return on equity of 273.92% and a negative net margin of 46.78%. The business’s revenue was up 17.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned ($0.62) EPS. Equities analysts expect that Natera will post -2.1 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CFO Michael Burkes Brophy sold 15,701 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total transaction of $628,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 16,005 shares in the company, valued at approximately $640,200. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Jonathan Sheena sold 250,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.37, for a total value of $7,842,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 364,645 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,438,913.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 454,648 shares of company stock valued at $14,516,636 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 9.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in NTRA. Orbimed Advisors LLC boosted its position in Natera by 199.2% during the 2nd quarter. Orbimed Advisors LLC now owns 3,224,328 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $88,927,000 after purchasing an additional 2,146,742 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Natera by 74.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,842,318 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $133,552,000 after purchasing an additional 2,065,977 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in Natera by 4,307.7% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 2,041,857 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $56,314,000 after purchasing an additional 1,995,532 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in Natera by 1,149.5% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,199,174 shares of the medical research company’s stock valued at $33,074,000 after purchasing an additional 1,103,205 shares during the period. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in Natera during the 2nd quarter valued at $24,302,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.94% of the company’s stock.

Natera Company Profile

Natera, Inc, a diagnostics company, provides preconception and prenatal genetic testing services. It primarily offers Panorama, a non-invasive prenatal test that screens for chromosomal abnormalities of a fetus with a blood draw from the mother; Vistara, a single-gene mutations screening test to identify single-gene disorder; Horizon carrier screening to determine carrier status for various genetic diseases that could be passed on to the carrier's children; and Spectrum pre-implantation genetic screening and Spectrum pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to analyze chromosomal anomalies or inherited genetic conditions during an in vitro fertilization cycle.

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