Trading Report: The Versartis Inc. (VSAR) Short Interest Update

The Versartis Inc. (VSAR) Short Interest Update

Versartis Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAR) saw a large decrease in short interest in October. As of October 14th, there was short interest totalling 826,637 shares, a decrease of 21.1% from the September 30th total of 1,048,084 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 238,509 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.5 days. Approximately 3.7% of the company’s shares are short sold.

In other Versartis news, Director Srinivas Akkaraju acquired 571,429 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $12.25 per share, with a total value of $7,000,005.25. Following the purchase, the director now owns 11,475 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $140,568.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Jay Shepard sold 5,442 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $12.88, for a total transaction of $70,092.96. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 155,358 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,001,011.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. bought a new stake in Versartis during the first quarter valued at about $916,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Versartis by 10.9% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 106,565 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $1,178,000 after buying an additional 10,476 shares during the last quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System boosted its stake in Versartis by 20.2% in the second quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 57,295 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $634,000 after buying an additional 9,632 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in Versartis by 8.9% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 35,400 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $392,000 after buying an additional 2,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in Versartis during the second quarter valued at about $547,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.28% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) opened at 12.25 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $12.42 and its 200 day moving average is $11.04. Versartis has a 12 month low of $6.17 and a 12 month high of $14.69. The stock’s market cap is $361.88 million.

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.75) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.78) by $0.03. On average, equities analysts predict that Versartis will post ($2.82) EPS for the current year.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on VSAR. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $11.00 price objective on shares of Versartis in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Canaccord Genuity set a $28.00 price objective on shares of Versartis and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 17th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 13th. Piper Jaffray Cos. began coverage on shares of Versartis in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $22.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Citigroup Inc. set a $23.00 price objective on shares of Versartis and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Versartis has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $19.20.

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