Equities research analysts expect that Vital Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ:VTL) will post earnings per share of ($0.30) for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Zero analysts have issued estimates for Vital Therapies’ earnings. Vital Therapies posted earnings of ($0.37) per share during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 18.9%. The company is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, March 6th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Vital Therapies will report full-year earnings of ($1.29) per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from ($1.33) to ($1.26). For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the company will report earnings of ($1.36) per share, with EPS estimates ranging from ($1.54) to ($1.21). Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Vital Therapies.

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported ($0.30) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.32) by $0.02. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.32) EPS.

Several research firms recently commented on VTL. ValuEngine downgraded Vital Therapies from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. BidaskClub downgraded Vital Therapies from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Vital Therapies from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $8.00.

In related news, Director Jean Jacques Bienaime acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 13th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $4.00 per share, with a total value of $40,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 65,119 shares in the company, valued at $260,476. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Muneer A. Satter acquired 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $3.53 per share, with a total value of $176,500.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders bought a total of 190,000 shares of company stock valued at $737,800 over the last three months. Insiders own 32.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Granahan Investment Management Inc. MA grew its stake in Vital Therapies by 51.4% in the third quarter. Granahan Investment Management Inc. MA now owns 388,282 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,961,000 after acquiring an additional 131,828 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP acquired a new position in Vital Therapies in the third quarter valued at about $116,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in Vital Therapies by 1,985.3% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 25,462 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,000 after acquiring an additional 24,241 shares during the period. Dowling & Yahnke LLC acquired a new position in Vital Therapies in the third quarter valued at about $252,000. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund acquired a new position in Vital Therapies in the third quarter valued at about $213,000. 25.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Vital Therapies (NASDAQ:VTL) opened at $5.10 on Friday. Vital Therapies has a 52-week low of $2.25 and a 52-week high of $6.50.

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About Vital Therapies

Vital Therapies, Inc is a biotherapeutic company. The Company is focused on developing a human hepatic cell-based treatment targeting acute forms of liver failure. Its product candidate, the ELAD System, is an extracorporeal human allogeneic cellular liver therapy designed to allow the patient’s liver to regenerate to a healthy state, or to stabilize the patient until transplant.

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