Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Conatus’ third-quarter results were encouraging with the company reporting a narrower-than-expected loss. The company’s progress with its lead candidate, emricasan, has been encouraging. Emricasan is in phase II development for the treatment of chronic liver disease, including NASH fibrosis under the ENCORE program. Conatus also plans to initiate studies on emricasan targeting different types of NASH patient populations. Given that there are currently no approved therapies for NASH and the significant market opportunity, the company’s efforts to develop emricasan are promising. Moreover, the company’s plans to evaluate partnership opportunities for emricasan outside North America could be rewarding, if successful. However, emricasan is still several years away from entering the market, if at all. Any development/regulatory setback could hamper the company’s prospects and impact the stock adversely.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CNAT. Brean Capital reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $7.00 price objective on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, October 4th. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $16.00 price objective on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. JMP Securities reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Conatus Pharmaceuticals in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price objective on Conatus Pharmaceuticals from $6.00 to $5.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Conatus Pharmaceuticals has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $9.05.

Analyst Recommendations for Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT)

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) opened at 1.89 on Tuesday. Conatus Pharmaceuticals has a 52 week low of $1.40 and a 52 week high of $4.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $1.87 and a 200-day moving average price of $2.03. The firm’s market capitalization is $47.58 million.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CNAT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 8th. The biotechnology company reported ($0.31) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.34) by $0.03. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted ($0.31) earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Conatus Pharmaceuticals will post ($1.28) EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CNAT. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. boosted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 94.5% in the third quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 87,788 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 42,649 shares during the last quarter. Courage Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter valued at about $200,000. KCG Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals during the third quarter valued at about $135,000. AXA boosted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 1.4% in the second quarter. AXA now owns 1,085,775 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $2,237,000 after buying an additional 14,939 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Conatus Pharmaceuticals by 3.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 448,938 shares of the biotechnology company’s stock valued at $925,000 after buying an additional 15,300 shares during the last quarter. 19.61% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biotechnology company. The Company focuses on the development and commercialization of medicines to treat liver disease. The Company operates through commercialization and development of pharmaceutical products segment. The Company is engaged in developing emricasan, which is an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease.

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