Shares of Versartis Inc. (NASDAQ:VSAR) rose 1.2% during mid-day trading on Tuesday after an insider bought additional shares in the company. The stock traded as high as $12.50 and last traded at $12.29, with a volume of 249,582 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $12.15.

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

VSAR has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $11.00 price objective on shares of Versartis in a report on Monday, September 19th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Versartis from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, August 13th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Versartis in a report on Friday, July 29th. Citigroup Inc. set a $23.00 target price on shares of Versartis and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. started coverage on shares of Versartis in a research report on Tuesday. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $22.00 target price on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Versartis has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $19.20.

The stock has a 50 day moving average of $12.89 and a 200 day moving average of $10.57. The firm’s market cap is $359.51 million.

Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.75) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.78) by $0.03. Equities analysts expect that Versartis Inc. will post ($2.76) EPS for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Versartis by 35.7% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 856,524 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock valued at $9,473,000 after buying an additional 225,561 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Versartis by 13.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,078,025 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $11,923,000 after buying an additional 130,529 shares in the last quarter. Jacobs Levy Equity Management Inc. bought a new stake in Versartis during the first quarter worth approximately $916,000. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in Versartis during the second quarter worth approximately $547,000. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in Versartis by 8.8% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 347,718 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,787,000 after buying an additional 28,154 shares in the last quarter. 69.09% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Versartis Company Profile

Versartis, Inc is an endocrine-focused biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing long-acting recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH), somavaratan (VRS-317), for growth hormone deficiency (GHD), an orphan disease. The Company’s product pipeline includes VRS-317 and XTEN Technology.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:VSAR

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