Vivus Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “VIVUS’ key product, Qsymia, targets the highly lucrative obesity market which represents huge commercial potential. Qsymia is the first weight-loss drug to receive FDA approval in 13 years. Given the unmet medical need, upside potential in the obesity market remains high. VIVUS is working on boosting Qsymia sales through expanding reimbursement and promotional initiatives. We are also positive on VIVUS’ partnership agreements for Stendra as these provide the company with a steady stream of cash flow in the form of upfront and milestone payments. Apart from that, VIVUS stands to gain from the vast marketing experience of its partners like Sanofi. However, Qsymia’s performance remains lackluster and challenges in the obesity market may make it difficult to drive Qsymia sales. Patent challenges remain a concern as well.”

Separately, WallachBeth Capital set a $2.80 price objective on shares of Vivus and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $1.68.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) traded down 1.77% during trading on Thursday, reaching $1.11. 146,369 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock’s market capitalization is $115.64 million. Vivus has a 1-year low of $0.92 and a 1-year high of $2.25. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $1.08 and its 200-day moving average price is $1.23.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The biopharmaceutical company reported ($0.11) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.31) by $0.20. The company had revenue of $13.77 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $19 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.19) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 40.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Vivus will post ($0.64) EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in VVUS. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new stake in shares of Vivus during the second quarter worth about $435,000. Laurion Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Vivus during the second quarter worth about $240,000. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Vivus by 11.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,761,029 shares of the biopharmaceutical company’s stock worth $2,464,000 after buying an additional 178,565 shares during the period. Alpine Partners VI LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Vivus during the second quarter worth about $158,000. Finally, LMR Partners LLP bought a new position in Vivus during the second quarter valued at about $154,000. 37.03% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Vivus

VIVUS, Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company operates in the development and commercialization of therapeutic products segment. It provides over two therapies approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), which include Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) for chronic weight management and STENDRA (avanafil) for erectile dysfunction (ED).

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:VVUS

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